Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ironman Lake Placid Race Report-Part 4

The final Leg. The marathon.
114.4 miles completed. A mere 26.2 to go.
This is the part that seemed unimaginable. Now it was time to try. No looking back.
Steady forward progress......the name of the game.....just-keep-going.


I ran, no hobbled into the T2 tent. I needed a bathroom. I saw them on the outside as I ran in. I missed it. Darn. I could have gone back into it. But I was NOT going to go backwards in any way during this monster day. That wouldn't be progress.

I had immediate help again. The tent was quiet. I was very lucky with this. "What do you need??"
Tweezers! I had decided against the med tent. I wasn't going to take the time. I just hoped that my worst fear was incorrect. I just hoped that my foot was ok. I didn't look at first. I ripped off the bike shoes, the wet socks, the Helmet came off and that was glorious, glasses off......
Ok. I told the woman I had to change my shorts and this was fine. It was quick. I was so happy to do this and start the long run fresh. They emptied my back pockets for me while I snapped the garmin on my wrist, donned my visor, grabbed my gels and put salt in the pocket. Now, moment of truth. There were no tweezers to be found.
I put my sock on my right foot, shoe on and tied it. I saved the left foot for last. And then I looked.
NOthing! Nada! Clean! What had I been feeling??? Who cares! Sock on, shoe on and OFF I went!
I had told the ladies helping me about the metal incident. As soon as I realized I was ok, I said, "Ok. No excuses. Time to run a marathon!"
I ran out of the tent with new energy. I was just relieved not to be impaled and in trouble for this. I have enough issues with my feet! I did not need more!
I saw Mark and the boys as soon as I hit the road. I smiled and waved, "I'm all set! I got it! It's out!" I left him flabbergasted. He thought it took me forever in the tent (was actually 3:53) and he thought my race was over. Did I look that bad?
I saw Jeff ( my brother) and my Mom and Dad too! such fun. JEff hollered, "You can do this thing Ange!" I was so happy they were there. It really made the day perfect.

This is where the race got real. This is where the Ironman gets it's name. It all comes down to the run. A few coaches and experienced Ironmen told me, "It's not a good bike if you have a bad run." Ok, let's see how I did.

My stomach hurt. But my legs were feeling alright. Not super yet, but ok. I headed out of town and down teh long steep hill I would have to climb 12 miles later. Finally...a portapotty. I ran in and almost tipped over! the crazy thing was wobblign all over the place! I yelled, "hey stop shaking this thing? Who's doing that??" I was out of there so fast....nobody around. The big blue box was just positioned poorly on some pieces of wood. Wonder how many spectators heard the crazy lady yelling from inside the toilet. I felt cool.

I remembered again what my awesome friend and nutritionist, Marni, had told me. For bloating...and I think this qualified as that, just slow down and have water for a while. I had done this on the bike but now it was time to do it on the run. I would hold off on the sugars and try to flush things out. My belly would feel better. I was determined.

I hit the first aid station.....sponges! I think these cold sponges might have been the Best thing I have ever experienced in my life. My entire life. That's how it felt at that moment. I had been so so hot on that bike. My head was exploding from inside that helmet. How often do you think, "I can't wait to get to the run so I can cool off." That just doens't happen. I squeezed those cold sponges over my head and just stopped in my tracks...bliss. I heard many others around me feeling just as fabulous. So so so wonderful. I thanked those volunteers--I think they got the biggest hugs of the day.

After a few minutes my stomach wasn't too bad. It continued to hurt but I could run. And ya know...I felt good! I was holding a pace that was well...too fast. I had been warned. In my defense, the first few miles are a bit downhill. My splits were back and forth as I tried to behave....too fast....on target...too fast...on target. I was really trying to hold a slwoer than you think you need to pace. I chatted with really nice guy named STeve. I think he was from Boston. I could tell by his shirt. I need to look him up somehow. Steve's goal marathon was 3:30. Umm...ok. His best flat marathon was 2:57. Ooooohh..Ok. "Bye STeve." I dropped way back. Don't run with Steve.
I made friends with another guy. We were just crusing along. Lovin' life. Having fun. Drinking some water. Drinking some gatorade.
What' s the big deal? Only 21 miles to go. Piece of CAke! I got this thing! I'm almost done. Feeling great. Yeah me......
I made the first turn. I think it was mile 6? I don't know why I don't know this. Beeeep beeep. Loved that beep. My connection with those watching from home. Jen! I'm here! I'm doing ok! :-) I wanted to talk to her. I cheered for myself out loud, "woohoo 1 leg down, 3 to go!!!! " (the run was out and back x 2 Or 4 segments...) The spectators cheered so loudly for me there cause I made such a scene. I was happy happy happy. This Ironman IS the party! This IS easier than all the training!!!
Running back to town I saw some friends. I saw Mike, "MIKE! I can TASte It! how are you?" He was loud and excited too! He was good to go. He told me our friend Tim was out. Not sure why. I saw Mary. She looked good too! Cruising right along. I saw Melissa. She was smiling and looked so great. I am so proud of what we all went through to get here. I hoped they were all ok and feeling good.

I saw the Inspiration board. It said, "Run Sister Run!" WAs this from Jeff? I have to ask him.
I was still ok. My splits were solid. I had slowed a tiny bit but was climbing a bit more now. I was fine. I climbed the big long hill by the Ski jumps. Those were fine. My stomach was still hurting me. But at least I could run.
I saw Kurt again. He made his signal to slow the pace and have patience. He said something about the race starting in a ....while. I was already at mile 10 or so. When does this thing get going? I did know I had a ways to go. I was still ok....but....not quite as perky as I had been.

Into town. Up the big long hill that scared us all. It wasn't easy. However, I finally had payback for the big giant hills I climb in training on a daily basis around here. I was fine. I just put my head down and got up the monster. I was Fired up to get to the corner with my teammates and family. I was smiling and waving and having a blast! "Almost done!" I yelled. I meant it. I felt so happy.

Back down the hill. Ouch. this hurt. I had to wave goodbye to my support crew in town and head way way way back out there again.

My pace was faltering a bit. I thought about how much longer I had. I started to do the math. 9 miles to go. Could I make it in ? could I break my goal of 11 hrs? I wasn't sure. In real life running, I had plennnnty of time. But not that day. Not that day at all.

My left quad started to quiver. It hurt. I think I had had a gel or maybe 2 at that point. I left T2 with 8. Just in case. I had a huge wad in my hands....I knew I didn't need them. I just trudged along.

Alright. Could it please rain? Where was that rain? 80% chance of rain! Any time now please! PLEASE!!! I was so hot. My skin was burning. My face was caked with salt and sweat and muck. I had smushed up salt in my pocket but I managed to get it down. I was really slowing down now. But I was still running. Sort of. I saw Steve again! Hey! I was still in the game.

And then, without any conscious thought, I started to walk. I just had to stop and walk. I think I took 5 steps when Steve came up to me. "Baby steps. Keep going. Keep running....just go." He asked me my age. He then said, "ok you might have a chance at a slot. But you WON'T if you walk."
Ok, the competitor in me stood up and started "runnig." baby steps. Keep going. OF course you can. Go. I was dreaming about the finisher's oval. Fantasizing about going under those arches. I wanted it SO so so bad. I had worked so hard. All year. If I walked, it would take longer to get there. so don't walk again Ange. Don't. Do. It.

The miles were so long. The aid stations were like mirages. They were like an oasis in the dessert. Filled with happy helpful smiling people who were not tipping in strange positions as they moved. Like the rest of us going down the road. I couldn't say much to them anymore. I smiled. A little. Somehow they knew what to say. "I know you're hurting...just keep going. You are amazing. Strong." YES! I am! I will keep going! It was such a mind game. Total self talk the whole way. My body was saying stop stop stop but my heart said 'don't even think about it. you are so close. this is your dream. you are strong and you have done the work to get here...go. Just go forward.'
So I did. Step by step by step. From tree to tree. Sign to sign.
My friends ran by on the other side of the road. We were quieter now. Glances and knowing grimaces were exchanged. Melissa, she's awesome, yelled to me, "GO FINISH THIS THING ANGE!" I almost cried. I was so close. She had a bit longer to go. I wanted her to turn around with me and run in with me. But you know, we were All still moving forward. It was so inspiring to see them. Everyone. Just pushing onward. REaching deep inside to accomplish something huge. Something not everyone can do. We were doing it.
Finally...the Hill into town. I ran up it. slowly. But I ran. I heard my name. It was on my bib. However, I could hear the voices I recognized. I saw faces of my friends in the crowd and they pulled me up. I was close. So close. I could see the Olympic Oval. I could hear Mike Riely annoucing other finishers....YOU ARE An was blurry but it was there. It was almost me. I passed by the corner of my teammates and family. Mark, my parents, the kids, Jeff were there screaming. GO GO GO! YeAH! We're going to the finish!! I nodded and smiled. I exchaged glances with Rob...a 9 or 10 time Ironman. He chuckled. He knew I was saying, "OH THIS HURTS ROB!" It was funny. I had to run 1 mile AWAY from the finish...and then back. Brutal. I went down down down teh road. I never got to the turn around. And then, I saw it. The final turn. Mile 25. I Still had to grab the table at the aid station and drink.

After that, it was all over. I was alive. Rejuvinated. I sprinted down the road.....past the tent, down the little hill, turn right into the oval, around the corner and then, The ARches. I stopped. I let the men in front of me go and have their moment. I wanted mine. And I didn't want to share it. Call me greedy. I was nothing but at that moment. I looked behind me and made sure no women were sneaking up (Steve's advice.....remember Steve? It was my turn..). It was clear. I was alone. I put my arms in the air and thought to myself, "Ange, you did it. You killed this thing." I looked into the stands and saw everyone. It was perfect. Totally perfect. Mark, Mom, Dad, Jeff, Cameron, TOmmy, NIcholas, Al, MaryAlice, Andy. I walked it in but RAN across the finish line.
Angela Bancroft YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!!!

Successs. Happiness. Peace. Satisfaction. Pride.

140.6 miles
10 hours 46 minutes
2nd age group
6th amateur woman
17th woman overall
171th finisher

Mark snuck into the finishing chute.....Big big hugs. We did it. I sat down. I just needed to rest. They swarmed me and took me to the medical tent. You didnt' matter. I was an Ironman. That's all that mattered.

Lake Placid Race Report-Part 3-The BIKE

The swim was over. I wasn't sure what this bike leg would bring. This was the part I was most worried about. I knew the run would Hurt the most, but it was the bike that was the most challenging to pace correctly.

I ran into the changing tent with my bag and sat down. I didn't look around but I saw only a few other women out of the corners of my eyes. I had plenty of room and plenty of help. I do remember feeling lucky about this because I have heard it can get very crowded. Several women unloaded my bag and handed me what I needed as I said it. Towel--dry feet, socks on, shoes on, glasses, helmet, HR monitor, and arm warmers????? I wasn't sure. It had been raining. I put them on. Finally, race belt. I was off. I heard my # called multiple times as I ran towards the bike racks. A lady pulled it off it's spot, brought it to the aisle and that's where I took over. Ready girl? I talked to my bike. In fact, I did that a lot that day. The energy leaving town was intense. Palpable. I just smiled and smiled and slowed down on all the descending corners around the exit. Many volunteers were screaming at us to do this so I behaved. Plus, it had poured during the swim and the roads were wet. The last thing I needed was to crash on the bike course....again.

I headed up the first hill just leaving town and saw Kurt. He calmly yelled, "good swim Angela. Be patient." Yes, patient. Careful. But not too careful. This was the challenge I faced for this 112 mile ride.

The Lake Placid course is the hilliest on the Ironman circuit, I believe. 8000+ ft of climbing. Because of that, it's hard to know how you're doing at times. For the first 3 miles or so (not sure of this) we climb. Long gradual climbing. 10 mph, 11 mph, 8 mph....rockin'! Go Ange. It's hard to start that way. But I had biked this course a few times and was prepared for that.

The plan for the bike was to stay in upper z2 or lower z3 for the duration. Jen and I decided I'd wear the HR monitor on the bike only. I was to make sure I was NOT in z1 OR z4. Ok, piece of cake. I think. During training, I found my HR in z1-- a lot. That makes it sound like I didn't train hard. And that is not the case. I just found it was very tough to get my HR into z3 during training. I felt like I was Sprinting to get about 150 bpm.

I expected the the HR to be higher than normal at first, because of the swim and the initial climb. And I was right. I can't give you #s...but it was not low z3. I was Above that. Hmm.. Ok, patience. There is a 9K downhilll shortly after leaving town and that would be a great recovery period. I would calm the HR down, rest the legs, and get ready for the main chunk of the race.

I felt good. Legs were fine. No pain in my glutes or quads like I had been feeling for months. Yeah! Taper worked. I was rested.
Ok-this RR could be 74 pages long at this rate. 112 miles of biking is not easy to summarize!

I got to the downhill and HELD ON! I was flying so fast that I didn't dare look down to see the speed. I decided NOT to be in aero. No way. As I've alluded to before, I have hit the pavement off the bike and never want to feel that again. I held the brakes and got "low." I'm sure I looked really cool and tough. Who cares. Fast fast fast men flew by me. I didn't care. That just meant I blew them away in the water. Some felt the need to pass me So close on my left and cut in front of me Immediately so that our tires almost hit. While going downhill at 40+ mph. Why? Why do this? Grrrr.

My bike shook and wobbled back and forth in the wind. That disc on the back is great but sometimes I am like a sail and the wind just takes me.

I got to the bottom, signaled that I was turning left (I laughed out loud-probably 10+ policemen stopping and directing cars for us and I signaled. oh well. Dad would be proud of my safety concerns.) Now the fun part. A fairly long "flat" part. I can fly on this. My big quads come in handy at times. Watch the HR Ange. I kept talking to myself. I had notes to myself on my bike. I felt a little dorky but it worked. My 5 y.o. Nicholas and I did this together before I left town. He put little lightening bolt stickers on my aero bars. I typed messages to myself and stuck them in little places. I read them and listened. It's easy to lose focus. To get carried away in the race. I have to be very careful with that. First 25 miles......easy. That was over in no time. My HR was not even CLOSE to lower z2. Oh oh. I felt calm and in control though. Just keep the pace and settle down. I was drinking my bottles. I had my gels every time my watch beeped at 45 minutes. I felt fine. Legs were good. No problems. Just cruising along. Only 5 hours to go! piece of cake. :) darn bike...goes on forever!

Every now and then I noticed those around me. Men. I hadn't seen any women. I smiled about this but also forced myself not to worry about it. Just ride your own ride. I thought about my friends. I hoped they were all ok.

We climb a big 3 mi hill again and then into the "out and back." I don't like the out and back. If you skip it, you go left and back to town. But...we must go right and go away from town. It's a tease. 7 miles out-7 miles back. However, the road was paved since we'd been there for training camp and it was faaaaaaaast! I had fun. I flew I felt great. And the bonus...a beep at the turn. I loved the beeps of the timing mats. It made me think of those at home who were tracking me. I thought of Jen. I hoped she liked my pace so far. I think it was 21 mph at that point. I was psyched. My HR was fine. It was Easy to keep it in the proper zones. Much to my surprise. I didn't have to kill myself to hold it there. Unless I climbed, and then it rose. I couldn't help that. And I climbed a lot.
Flying back out of this out and back I began to see my friends. You see everyone coming at you. It's a little nerve wracking. Ahh...there's the women. They're right there. Stop Ange. Don't race. Not yet. That's Ironman challenge for me. Cause I love to race. It's what makes me me.
I saw Tim...flying. Mike....right behind him. We screamed to each other. I saw Mary...Looking great and fast flying up a hill. I'm not sure she heard me but I hollered to her. I saw Allison. I saw Matt. I saw Kiely? I can't remember if I saw Kiely. I think I did.
Now the climb home. 11 miles. A long long climb back to town. I was still eating and drinking. And I was hot. The sun had been out. My face had sweat dripping down. I had to throw my arm warmers away. This made me sad. It's been a long cold spring/summer at home and those arm warmers were my friend. A staple in my wardrobe...I passed 3 aid stations before I finally released them to the trash area. Sad.
Ok, up the hill. No big deal. Just go go go go. Don't think. Just climb. I was keeping a good pace adn legs were fine. I saw Chess taking pictures at the aid station. I heard my name. Must have been Rob. This was uneventful...I was all excited to be heading back to the town to see everyone, to get my fresh bottles, and to start the 2nd loop. I was getting it done. I climbed Papa Bear and heard a subtle but familiar, "GO ANGE." It was Nat. Love Nat. He was standing alone smiling at me. It's so comforting to see friends. The crowds were enthusiastic here and I ate it up. I turned into town and headed to the bags.
I made a super quick stop and just grabbed 3 new (still cold and slushy) bottles of nutrition, a luna bar, and that's that. I rode down the road and saw the family and frineds screaming at our Team tent. I turned the corner to go up the little hill at that point and my bike wouldn't shift into the small chain ring!!!! It just wouldn't go! ? I panicked a bit. I couldn't get over those hills without that small chain ring. Later, myfamily told me they thought I was just distracted by them. Nope.
Ok-fun's over. Back out of town for loop two. No big deal. Only 56 more miles. And then a marathon. I tried not to think about that yet though.
I just plugged along for a while. Up the big hill out of town. down a little. Up again. Next thing I knew, I was at the 9K down again. This time it was scarier. I'm not sure why. At one point I couldn't even see I was going so fast. HOLD ON! My back and shoulders Ached from being so tense and holding on so tight through this. I had real fear on it this time. There were just too many corners!
And then, right at the bottom, when I started to feel safe and ready to let the speed come to me, one of my bottles flew off!!! ON NO! Well, it's ok. I was going to be faster than 6 hrs (I hoped...pace was on so far) and I could get by with what I had. 5 bottles, 6 gels, 3 bars would be fiiiine! Plus, I could grab gatorade and stuff from the aid stations. I reached back to check on the Other bottle back there and couildn't find it!? Then I felt it, sideways. It was twisted and sticking out of the holder ready to fall off. I had to stop. I couldn't lose 2 of my 3 bottles for the 2nd half. All that speed, and I had to stop. I pulled over and what was on the road in front of me? Another Peak Performance bottle! HOw funny. That's my team/bike shop's name. I secured the bottle and took off. A little irritated.
And hot. I was getting really hot. My head was killing me. I had a really really bad headache now. I had for most of the ride in fact. But now it was awful. Throbbing. My eyes ached. I decided that my head was hot. I decided that my helmet wasn't letting enough air through. I sort of lost my mind for a few minutes and almsot just ripped my helmet off. Can't do that! Be careful. I really almost freaked out and just pulled it off. My head felt like it was going to explode. Once I decided that was why I was so hot I was totally distracted by it. I Must get over that. I must find a way to get my head back on the ride. Read your stickers Ange.....FOCUS!

I began grabbing water bottles and squeezing in into my helmet. I would tip my head forward and squeeze it in. It felt good...but I still needed the top of my head cooled off. It was hot blazing sun. I think. I wondered where the rainy day was. 80% rain it had said. I was going to get fried. I put some sunscreen on before the swim...but I'm sure that washed off.

Things were still going pretty well. My legs felt good. My HR was fine. But my stomach was just starting to get a little sick of the SE/HEED combo. I was starting to feel less than perfect. Over the course of the ride I had one bite of my clif mojo bar. I coudn't chew it. Pieces dropped onto my bike and stuck there. Yuck. I did eat most of my luna bar--that was easier to get down. I needed a break from the gels and drinks.

Skipping ahead to the final 11 miles. I wasn't a happy camper. My stomach downright hurt. I decided to go to Plan B. Everyone said, "have a plan and be ready to change it." Ok, time to change it. I ignored the beep of my watch and stopped taking gels. Marni told me that if I had bloating, to first slow down and then take water in. It wasn't really bloating but that was the closest thing to it. Just pain. I sipped water. I worried about this..."she stopped taking in calories. " I worried I'd hear that later as the reason I crashed. but I couldnt' take more in. I decided to give myself 30 minutes. I was now climbing 10 miles back to END THE BIKE! Woohoo!! I could Not get into aero. I sat back, stretch my stomach out, rolled my head around to try to ease the headache. Just basically tried to survive that climb. It was windy. I wasn't moving. "steady forward progress." Just keep going. It IS all about nutrition isn't it.

I had a few girls with me now. One said, "you aren't 59 are you???" :) that was funny. She thought my leg said 59. I told her I was 39 and she was relieved. There were a few 30 somethings nearby. I didn't worry. We had a looooong run ahead. Plus, my stomach hurt. I couldn't do much about it anyway.

So, remember that metal?
My feet usually get a bit 'numb' on long rides. I was certainly feeling some tingling pain in my feet. Numbness too. But, I was comforted by the fact that it was both feet. I was squeezing them both periodically to relieve the numbness and wake them up for the run. I have neuromas in my feet and hoped this wouldn't become a problem too early on. I squeezed and squeezed. I was also "testing" them. Was that left foot ok?
And then, OOUCH! SHIt.
I felt a sharp stab in the area the metal had been. Or still was? I tried to calm myself. This was not good.
After a few minutes I was riding near a guy and said, "If you go to the med tent for they let you out or are you done?" He said he thought they'd let me out. I had a plan to go, get it yanked or dug out, and then go run the marathon. I was NOT going to quit. No way in hell. But I was worried.

I rode past my friends at the tent and waved and smiled. I didn't see Mark.

I rode around the loop by the Olympic oval and up the little road to the bike dismount. Allelujaih!! I did it! 112 miles!!! No FLaT! Yippy!
Sub 6 hrs..... 5:50. Just what I wanted. 4th bike in my age group. (found out later)

And then, ARGH! They took my bike and I was immediately hunched over in pain. I could barely stand upright to run to the tent. Oh my god it hurt so bad. How the hell was I going to run to the tent...forget about a marathon?? and there was that little issue of metal in my foot. I saw Mark at the fence with the boys. REady to snap a picture. "GO BABY!!! YOU'RE AWESOME! GREAT JOB!" I grimaced at him and he dropped the camera. "There's metal in my foot!!" He said my face was so bad that he couldn't begin to take a picture of me. He told me later, " I thought your day was over." He also said he thought, "what did she say? She's been smiling for almost 7 hrs could she have metal in her foot? What did she do out there?"

I hobbled into the tent with my bag.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Ironman Lake Placid Race Report- Part 2

Time to Swim:

I'm a swimmer at heart. I started swimming competitively at age 8. I know the water. I love the water. I have total comfort there. During the pre-race craziness, I went for a 20 minute warm up swim. It was so peaceful. My face was under the water and all sounds were blocked. All sights were blocked. I was alone with my thoughts. Swimming is my strongest piece of the race I believe, and I was ready to go for it.

I crossed over the timing mat onto the beach. The lake area was remarkably quiet given what was happening. Maybe it was just that my brain was numb. I was in my own moment. I had dreamed of this moment. Visualized it. I remembered watching IMLP '08. I cried at the start of that swim...just imagining what they were all feeling. And how I would feel. Now, it was my turn. I worked so so hard all year in the water. I felt strong and ready to pull out a good first leg. Jeff (my little bro) had asked me only 30 minutes before..." Are you going to go fast here or ssave your energy?" I told him I was going for it. I'd go as hard as I could hold for an hour. That was the plan.

So I crossed the mat..beep.... a sound I grew to love during the day. Crossing the mats. It meant I was there. No turning back. I'm on the other side. Mary and I hugged, barely uttered a word to each other and headed to opposite sides of the lake. We had our own individual plans.

I swam out towards the line. I was going to get far left and in front. Kind of pushy of me and kind of brave. I thought I could hold my own.
Well, I held onto the dock that stuck out. Many others were already holding on so I joined them. The plan was simply to save energy for 10 more minutes. Sort of a funny thought. We were in a lke with wetsuits. I really could have just floated. Would have been muuuuuch better.

So the sounds of Ironman are swirling around me. Music is blasting. Don't STop Believing by Journey is in the air. Love that song. My sons love that song and sure enough, they noticed it and were all excited for me. I was getting really nervous. Excited. And then,
OUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!! What???
My foot rubbed something underwater ever so slightly. I pulled my left foot above water to find a 3 Inch piece of METAL stuck in my toe!?? OH NO! I yanked that rigth out but the worst part was the bunches of little shards still stuck in the side of my foot...little shards. I was Freaked! Paniced really. 5 minutes to Ironman. Never mind the partially torn tendon in my ankle....I had Metal in my foot!!! Men around me held me up while I dug and dug with my fingers. You see, there was a cable running down from the dock to the ground. It looked like a rope. Small pieces of it tore off and into me. Lots of muttering behind me took place, "She got it in her Foot! look out. I just got some in my hand....blah blah blah." All I knew was I had to get it OUT! This could kill my race. I was desperate. 3 minutes to go. A guy on the dock handed me his jackknife. I had a big knife in my hand, digging at my foot, under the flags of an Ironman, 2400 people behind me, with minutes to go. Those tears I expected at the start....were for a different reason. The knife wasn't working. I thanked the guys for helping me and pushed off the dock. And prayed. Time would tell. It didn't hurt...and that was a good sign.

Men behind me were cool. "OK everyone. Easy at the start. Easy with your kicks. We'll all get out of here. No pushing." They were saying stuff like that. I was directly under the flags. Some were trying to get ahead...the kayakers were shoving them back to the line. A referee threatened to take numbers. I couldn't believe's an Ironman. Why are they trying to get an extra 5 seconds by pushign ahead of the line. I floated and floated and prayed and prayed that that metal wouldn't come back to haunt me. And ruin me. It couldn't. I worked too hard all year long to have something like that take away my dream.

BANG! All of a sudden the gunshot! I screamed. More of disbelief that it was starting. I did hit my watch...glad I was in my right mind enough to do that.

Ok...reality. I thought I'd be ok out in front. NOPE!!! I WAS KILLED! I was clobbered. It's hard to desribe this part! Within 2 minutes I think I almost quit. I almost swam to the side and escaped. People attacked me. My goggles were gone. I choked and swallowed TONS of water. I gagged. I was honestly really scared. There's not much more to say. I wondered if it would improve and figured it wouldn't. I was face out of paddling....stroke paddle...cry...panic..... for a while. Finally I got off to the side a bit and could sort of swim. After a little more time, I was ok. I was swimming. I had "clean" water. As much as I could hope for anyway.

After that....just go. go go go go go. I swam hard and felt great. No soreness. No fatigue. I hadn't felt that in a while! it was great.
As I got close to shore and ready to exit and make the quick jaunt on the beach for lap 2, I heard the crowd. I saw the swim arches. I love that. I live for it. The hoopla of it all really fires me up. I swam in far, stood up, and checked my watch.
27 minutes. Awesome. I was shocked! How did I go that fast after dog paddling and nearly dying? Whatever, I'll take it. I'm pretty sure I heard my name and cheers from friends. I knew they were there. That's all I needed.

Back in for lap 2. My eye hurt. My goggle was too tight. I hadn't put it on well after getting hit early on. I was stroke for stroke with another girl and a guy. I had to stop and fix it though. I knew I was ok. I caugth right back up and swam and swam. For a few minutes, as I headed back towards the beach, I found myself spacing out a bit. I wasn't focused. I felt sort of lightheaded. I had a little chat with myself and gathered myself together.

From there it was uneventful. I pushed hard to shore. I heard the crowd. I was a little sad the swim was ending. The rest of the day would be much harder. I was ready down , two to go.

I climbed onto the beach and checked my watch: 57 min. Perfect.

I heard my name hollered and smiled. AFter getting my wetsuit stripped, I picked it up and started the loooooooong loong run to T1. Down a long long hallway of people...across a road and into the tent. The aisle was 10-15 people deep. Smiling, energetic, enthusiastic, supportive people. I Loved that moment and felt myself smiling too. I was going to have fun today. I was going to savor my moment I worked so hard for. This was party time.

down the long row of bags, grab the one with the pretty party ribbon, and into the tent.

Ironman Lake Placid 2009

But I will try.
I am going to follow the lead of fellow blogger Marit C-L and write this report in parts. There is no way I can sit and do it all at once.


The week before my first Ironman was TOUGH!!! All year long, I had Ironman on my mind. From time to time I would get some nerves and think about the reality of that day. I had been "nervous." But, nothing prepared me for the emotions that engulfed me on the Sunday before the race. It was the marking of '1 more week.' I think I had jitters all day long. I was irritable. I was quite simply, freaking out. Ok, I admit, those of you who have known me all my life know that this is not atypical pre-race Ange behavior. I know. But let me assure you, this was different. I do Not usually get like that a full week before. I did settle down as each day moved along. Sounds strange but I really did get a bit calmer as the day grew close. I packed thoroughly and hit the roads on Thursday. Alone. My 3 boys and hubby came the next day. It allowed me to collect my thoughts. It was a good move. I felt somewhat lonely at times...but definately what I needed.
I arrived in LP and felt Great! I was calm. confindent. Ready. Watching the other athletes and seeing the venue again gave me a strange sense of peace. I guess I knew it was where I was supposed to be. If anyone was ready, I was. I trained so hard. I have focused all season on this goal.
I picked up my packet, got Weighed!? (didn't like that with my big clunky fat heeled shoes and post big bagel lunch--such a girl), and headed to our room.
The next day was spent making and freezing nutrition bottles, packing the Transition and special needs bags and assessing every little tweak in my body.
I was able to have dinner with Mary and Andy, to chit chat with Mike and his family because their room was next door, ride the giant hill with Tim, and get lots of comforting words from MaryLou and Nat. Those last few days were good. It was going fine. No major problems. I did a few teensy tiny "workouts" and waited. It's funny to look back on those final workouts. Hard to call them that....20 min swim, 10 min bike, 10 min run....stuff like that. But we took them seriously. Even the 45 min run before I left town. they all seem so insignificant now. I now understand how they work. They just keep you from going insane. They allow you to move your body a little....but not much. I am glad I took this very seriously and erred on the side of rest. I needed All I had inside.
My family arrived and it was wonderful. But ah, crowded. I have 3 bouncy boys. They are just awesome kids. I have to say that. I do appreciate them so much. They are boys though!! we had a suite but it was tiny. In our bedroom...we had 2 double beds. 5 people. One about to do an Ironman and one is 6'3". We had a plan. Camping air mattresses!!! The boys took my "warnings" seriously. I told them that the ngiht before and 2 nights before were Key for sleeping. they did great. I got my own bed, Mark shared with 1 boy, and the other two were on teh floor in sleeping bags. Not a spot left on the floor. But, they were quiet and I slept. thanks guys. :) mark was amazing. He did Everything with the kids. Just took them away and let me chill.
Saturday-one day to go. I couldn't sleep. I got up and went to the lake. I did a tiny swim and hurried back to eat. I had to get it all right. One more thing to do. Rack the bike and turn in the bags. By 11:00 that was done. I headed to the room and got on the bed. I stayed there...literally...until 4:30 p.m. I had my feet up all. day. long. I felt good about this.
After dinner with a table full of Mary and Andy, my brother, my family, my parents, and my in-laws (with 12 other friends behind us at another table), I was off to bed.
7:45. Ligths out.
nothing more to do. Please please please let me sleep!!!

Race Day:
3:50 a.m. and I woke up (yeah..I slept) and scurried to stuff my face. My husband came out to hug me and be with me but I carefully told him I needed the time alone to dress, eat, and walk to the start. He knew this....we hugged and said our good byes. I tried not to think about what was coming. I had to just go through the motions.

Mike (friend from home-training partner sometimes) was next door and we had planned to walk over at 4:45.
I ate all I was supposed to eat. oatmeal, almonds, bagel with peanut butter (why is it SO hard to get these down on race morning!) and coffee. I couldn't do the banana. I was stuffed. I sipped water and amino vital for the next few hrs.

I was calm. It was strange. I had a lump in my throat but I felt ok. I was just doing my thing. We walked to the team tent area and found Nat. Nat is amazing. He is my friend and my bike mechanic and just a calm experienced presence that I love having at races. We dropped some of our gear and walked down the road to hang our special needs bike and run bags. Done.
Ok. off to body mark. To pump tires. Just go through the motions Ange.
It was dark. There were nervous athletes everywhere. We were all scurrying around. there was no more time to think. Just do it.
I think it was maybe 5:05 a.m. at this point. We walked back through our team tents on the way to the body marking. "Hi Ange." I turned expecting to see other athlete friends...but no! It was Mom, Dad and my brother Jeff! I tell ya... they are amazing. 5 a.m. and they're ready to roll. I had the greatest support that day!

I looked for all my friends. I hadn't seen Mary yet but I knew I would. At my bike I finally saw Melissa. We were so happy to see each other. I knew she would have a great day. there's something about seeing freinds out there!

The next hour went fast. I hurried from the tent to our hotel and then to the beach house and then another hotel, avoiding porta potties. I found secret bathrooms all morning.

The next thing I knew, it was time. Wetsuits were on. Everyone was quiet. Cap on. Hugs goodbye. "see you tonight!" Mary and I were quiet. We walked towards the beach.

Next: the Swim. I'll post that in a few hours. The fun begins.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I did it!!!!

Yesterday was amazing. From start to finish. I have so many stories. But, I will have to write about those later. For now, I am trying to recoup. It's 11 a.m. and I'm eatiing for the first time today. I can't believe I haven't been starving. I've just been flying high I guess.

I had an enormous amount of support both here and from those of you at home.
THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!! From the bottom of my heart. It has meant so much.

Soon...I'll head to the awards ceremony.

And in October,

KONA baby!!!! Woohoo!!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Dear Me

It's time to look within Ange. Time to shut out the rest of the world and stop worrying about what if. You have worked hard for this. FOr a long long long long time. You started training when you were 8. No...not for an Ironman. Not even close. But you entered the world of competitive sports and became the person you are today. Everyone has a talent. A gift. Some have many talents. This is yours. My Mom and Dad bestowed good genes upon me to use my body. I may be a clutz, but when it's time to move athletically, I can do it. Be confident. Remember when you were at summer swim team practice in college? Remember talking to that guy about running a marathon. Do you remember when you said, " there is NO WAY I could do that. I can't imagine." Well, since then, you've done 6. I'm not going to list it know.
This is another massive undertaking. it's going to be hard. But Ange---you are strong. you are fit. YOu have done the training. You care. You are determined. You will NOT give up. You never give up.
I don't know what the day will bring. I don't know how the legs will feel. I don't know the other competitors. I do know what I can do. Tomorrow is my turn. My turn to go out and do what I know how to do.
Believe in it. Go for it. Enjoy it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

On my way

I am officially and totally EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nerves are there, of course.

But things have changed over the week.....slowly fear has turned into fire. My fire. The fire I get when I'm about to race.

Hitting the road tomorrow. More from Lake PLacid tomorrow night.

Monday, July 20, 2009


I'm better today. Not as spastic. Not nearly as frantic. Or shaky. I think the fact that yesterday was Sunday....and the race is Next Sunday....that really got to me.'s Ironman week. And I feel.....lazy!!!!!
I am out of my "groove" of working out half the day. I swam today. that's it.
My muscles feel mellow and relaxed instead of the evening pulse I grew accustomed to over the past months.
I started the day, as I said, with a swim. It was fine. NOt too hard ,not too easy. I felt energized and ready for a sunny day.
And then...."Mommy, my milk isn't cold. Do I have to drink it." At first, I didn't listen. I didn't worry or basically care because one of them typically lets it sit out until it's warm. But then.....I felt the fridge. OH SHIT!
I have enough to think about-obsess about :) - this week. I did Not need a broken fridge. But it was warm and getting warmer by the minute. not good. It was full of yogurts, and milk, and well stuff that Must stay cold! not to mention the freezer.
Good distraction and of course it put me over the edge a few times. It was 7:30 and I had to be out of the house 45 min later with the 3 boys for soccer camp until 12:30. And I had to save the food.
I'll spare the details but it was a pain. lots of shuffling and scrambling but the important thing is now it's fixed, it's Clean (yes..discovered a few places that needed serious scrubbing, ooops) and it successfully took my mind off
IRONMAN in 5 days!!!!!!!!!!!
Tomorrow I will shop for food to bring with me. I will do a final load or two of laundry. And, I will talk to Jen. I will finalize my race plan. My plan of attack.
Tomorrow, I will try to remain calm.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Ok-this is getting serious

We're down to less than a week. If all goes as planned, I'll be DONE one week from right now. Not only will I be DONE, I will be an IRONMAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just got shivers.
Does everyone freak out during taper. During the week....before?
I know some friends who are calm as a cucumber (is that right...calm as a ___ What is IT? ) and I have some who are all revved up like me.
I can't see straight.
I can't focus.
I can't calm down and NOT think about it for more than 5 minutes at a time.
I am not without distraction. I have 3 small boys remember. Life is never calm. Ever.
But I can't get myself together.
My body is all in a twit. One minute I'm flying down the road running an effortless fast for me pace. The next minute I'm buckled over with GI pain.... Or one minute my legs feel loose and strong and the next minute my glutes are screaming and my ankle is talking to me.
I don't think I've mentioned my ankle. I refuse to truly admit it's an issue you see. But several weeks ago I was diagnosed with a partially ( keyword) torn pereneal brevis tendon. ok. so what's that. Eggshells basically .I'm walking on eggshells. My ankle has been swollen (not obnoxiously so but enough to see ) for months and months. This is good. It signals a chronic thing not an acute injury that is more likely to knock me down. So-that's all I'll say on that. My ankle talks sometimes. And I ice. I wrap. I baby it. I run carefully. I wait. One more week. I WILL make it. AFter that....who the heck cares really.

I'm not sure how to ge tthrough this week. I really have no idea. this is unlike anything I have done in my life. I just don't know how to feel.

Friday, July 17, 2009


I'm not sure how to label my feelings right now.
and of course....there are nerves.
It is so close. I have worked so hard. I am so ready.

A triathlon shop exploded in my bedroom today. And in the basement. And in the family room.
There's a wetsuit, tons 0 tri short and tops, socks, big bottles of nutrition, millions of gels (I expect it's going to take about 10 to get through that marathon alone), bottles and bottles ready to be filled with super powered energy drinks, a helmet or two, spare's all over the place. Every where I look. The special race gear is coming out.

I'm a little snappy. For some reason I'm expected to think about things Other than the Ironman I'm jumping into next weekend. :0) Seriously brain is a little full at the moment. I really really need a day or two to myself to gather my thoughts. But...that's not going to happen. I'm trying to remain calm---to allow myself to 'forget' what's coming up so so soon.

I was at a closing today and had to sign about 100 papers. Each one...dated. July 17, 2009.
July 26th. That day has been etched into my mind for a year now. And now it's the 17th. Of the same month. Of the same year. How did that happen? It seems like yesterday that Mary, Mike, Tim and I camped out on the side of the road waiting for a chance to enter our first Ironman. It seems like yesterday.

But you much has happened since that day. I have had some great races. I have experienced the 70.3 world championships. And most importantly...I have trained my butt off. Every day. Ok, I guess there were a couple days off in there but not many!! I have worked adn worked and worked. It's in my bank. I'm fully trained for an Ironman now. That is what has changed.
Here we go!!!!!!!!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Thanks Hun

  • for hugging me in our kitchen last July and saying, "yes. Let's go sign you up."
  • for telling me to "take my time" every single time I headed out for workout. Every time. You never made me feel guilty. Not once.
  • for telling me all the reasons why I shouldn't feel guilty for my hours away when I brought the feeling on myself
  • for smiling patiently when I showed you all my new gear along the way and asking calmly how much is cost
  • for scheduling morning meetings later so you wouldn't have to leave home early-allowing me to do my daily training
  • for your unbelievable patience and understanding all those times I had a "long swim" or things just took longer than expected at the lake and I rolled in, no screeched in, at 7:17 instead of 6:58.
  • for taking over the breakfast hour at home with the boys...all year long
  • for keeping the boys quiet on those rare mornings that I got to sleep in
  • for your understanding about my early bedtimes--even on Friday and Saturday nights
  • for never questioning me when I began cooking unbelievably healthy pancakes and try so hard to like them so the boys will too!
  • for convincing me I can do anything I decide to do
  • for being my rock when I broke down from exhaustion and doubt
  • for being super Dad and getting the kids all over New England to watch me race--at the crack of dawn.
  • for buying me race wheels for our 10th anniversary
  • for your constant patience and support. We are here. Next week. I promise to stay up past my 'bedtime' soon. To finish a movie with you. To sleep in on Saturday mornings.

This Ironman journey has been amazing. I've had ups and downs. But one thing is certain, despite all my personal dedication and hard work, I could not have done it without my husband.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What a difference a day makes

It was sunny on Monday. It was beautiful. I was smiling all day long. I took the boys to Portland to do some errands but most importantly, to pick strawberries. We do this every year. I love fresh berries. We have them from mid-June to early July. That's it. They were in jeapordy this year with all the rain. So when the sun came out...we hurried to pick. This is always our "event for the day" and then we get there and realize it takes about 20 minutes to pick 8 quarts. We would pick more, but they'd rot in our fridge. So we must stop. It's like picking apples. I remember it taking all day as a kid. In reality, it takes no time at all to fill our little bags.
We picked at the fields rigth next to the beach. A few posts ago, I referred to the beauty of Maine. That beauty has been elusive. However, MOnday we saw it again. There was not a cloud in the sky. I decided that groceries and other errands could wait and we headed to the beach for a walk. Within 5 minutes the boys were running into the ocean with their clothes on. Now, we live over an hour from there. They looked at me with pleading eyes, "Can we??" Hell ya! Go for it guys. But remember you'll be wet and probably naked all the way home. I sat myself in the warm sand and felt like I was in heaven. Finally I had warm sun on my face. It was amazing. The boys stripped down to nothing in the car and away we went. Perfect. Summer...are you really here?
I woke up the next day to clouds. Ok, not too bad. I woke up at 3:50 that day. I had to get up at 4:33 but my body woke me up at 3:50....My nightly trip to the bathroom. Bad timing. I stayed in bed instead and prayed for 30 more minutes. No such luck. So off I went to the pool.
I had a good 3000 yard swim. Nothing to report about the swim. It was fine. It was step 1 to my final big long training day.
step 2-prerace breakfast. This started on the drive home and continued for the next hour. It's kind of hard to stuff that many calories in!! I know it takes a lot for an Ironman so I just kept eating. At least 500 calories. Woah....
Step 3-100 miles. My final century. I was ready. I was --excited? I guess so. The distance isn't so daunting anymore. Except that it takes All Day Long! I realized tonight at dinner that my family could basically drive from Maine to Lake Placid in the time it takes me to ride about 100 miles. Scary. Now Finally my kids began to realize just how long I am out there. They remember the trip there last year.
So, I was ready for the ride. I was doing my standard 2 loop route. It even has a 4.5 mile climb at the end. Perfect for LP. As I pulled out of the driveway, there was my old friend. The rain. Shit.
Already??? And did I mention it was 52 degrees? It was July 7th!!!!!!! WTF!? Yes, I swore through most of this ride. I swore at the log trucks FLYING by me without so much as courtesy brake. I swore at the damn cold rain. It just poured and poured on me and I was frozen. I couldn't see...glasses were totally covered or my eyes were getting spit into. oh. you know the story. At least those of you in Maine this summer know. It's getting so damn old. To be honest, I am not sure I remember a long ride I have had without at least Some rain.
So I just rode hard. I rode and rode and at one point, thought I might cry. I contemplated the trainer for loop two. How pathetic!? July folks. So I got to my hubby's office to pick up my new bottles. I was grateful for a loving smile and hug. I wanted to crawl into his car and turn on the heat. I got new socks but that didn't help because my inserts were saturated. That was the ride. not much changed on loop two. More rain. More cold. Harder efforts. When descending that mtn at the end I nearly fell off mybike b/c I was so tense from the freezing cold.
But I did it. I rode 100.1 miles without quitting. I never actually quit...but I did want to. I wanted to stop. I guess I feel stronger not only from the ride, but from toughing it out. If race day is rainy, I'm covered. It'll be annoying and miserable but I'll have 2000 others around me for quiet moral support. There was no support out there yesterday. Just log trucks flying by me trying to squish me into p3 soup.
I have never been so happy to walk in teh door of my house. oh ok. that's not true. I've had happier home reunions but damn it felt GOOD to take those wet things off and lean the bike on the washing machine. The boys were absorbed with legos and air hockey. "Hi Mom." No biggy. They had no idea how much their Mom had just done!!! will they ever "get it?" Who knows.
Ok, I changed into run stuff and off I went.
step 4-40 minute run.
When I start my run, I have to go up 1/2 mile. I trotted....light and fresh??WTF? I felt GREAT! I was so excited. I continued on and it never got hard. My pace was fast and fresh and completely fatigue free. I am sure my legs would have become heavy after another 10 miles, but hey, the 5+ that I did run were amazing.
True emotions filled me. It actually overwhelmed me. I am proud. I am proud of what I have done to get here. I have worked so so hard. I have made sacrifies. My family has made sacrifices for me. I have so much support but it has been hard along the way. I am a Mom of 3 boys and my husband has a very busy job. I am proud of my body and feel lucky that I have been given the strength and health to get to this point.
I am so ready.
I went to bed feeling energized for the big day.

And today-the rain poured down harder. Temps did not rise. I woke up tired. I woke up a bit sore. I had a headache. The kids are sick and tired of inside play in the summer. They are tired of babysitters so mom can train. We were all at each other today. Grrr......
What a difference a day makes.

Tomorrow. I will hit rewind to Monday. The sun will come out. My body will be more rested. I will reenergize again and head into the final 2.5 weeks.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Endurance-that's the thing

I've got it. Endurance. It has finally sunk in that I am absolutely ready. It struck me for good this morning during my swim. I tackled 10x400s. The intervals weren't too bad... but not slow either. I descended by 2 with #8 & 9 on 5:30 and the final to be the fastest of the day. AFter warming up on the 2nd one I brought them down to 5:20 and held them right there. No problem. Stroke was steady. I had no problem taking off on each one with 20,15, 10 seconds rest and hitting the next one at the same pace. Final 400 on 5:15. It struck me that my endurance is now solid in 3 sports. And that's what I need.

The long weekend was up and down. It started out on Friday morning with a swim at Crystal lake with my buddies Mary and Alina. They drove extra far this time to get there so we could swim together. This made me very happy. However, my swim was not what it usually is. We stop at .5 mi, 1 mi, 1.5 and finish up at 2 mi. Each time we stopped I was dizzy. Lightheaded. Strange. And I couldn't keep up. Alina and I are usually a great match and push each other stroke for stroke. Not that day. I didn't have it. Oh well.
After a hot shower (still cold and rainy here..) and some food, I hoped I was ready for my long "very hilly" run. Jen instructed me to find a very hilly route. I took this to heart. I climbed 3000 ft in 17 miles. It was actually done in about 15 miles cause the final few miles were flat. Ouch. I was not fast that day...but again...endurance. I had it. My legs never fatigued. It was a nice long run. And then........I had to basically sprint home.....

Bam. I was down for the count. Major GI upset and serious dizziness. No clue why. I was miserable. totally and utterly miserable. I did get my recoverite in and a quick ice bath but about 30 minutes after I finished I was a mess. I couldn't stand up without major stomach pain. I would get lightheaded and dizzy and had the sweats. I didn't have a fever....I was expecting something like that since my son had had a 101+ fever for a few days last week....but it wasn't that. I was home alone with my 2 youngest boys. Tommy, my 7 y.o., was so sweet. He made me a cracker with peanut butter on it after I realized I should Try to eat something. I couldn't stand at the counter long enough to do it myself. He fetched me water. He brought me the phone so I could call my husband to tell him to hurry home because I was dying. :) Just kidding. But I did call him to tell him I was flat on my back in random spots on the floor of the house. I would try to get up, but then collapse again. what was this??? oh well, I was better by night time...almost.

The next day was the Fourth. The sun tried to shine...but we were hit by multiple thunder storms while at our family picnic on the ocean....still fun though.

Sunday I had long brick. In the...SUN! First time that I can remember. It was glorious. My workout was a total of almost 5 hrs. And I felt..fine. Great. The ride was good and the run was easy! So comforting....
This has been happening to me a lot lately. I conquer big long workouts and am basically fine after. Endurance. I have endurance. This is what I will need in um....19 days. 19 days???? HOw did this happen?? That is NO TIME AT aLL!!!!

The lists are started. The bike tune up is scheduled. The outfits are planned.

Tomorrow is a big day. A big long day of swimbikerun. Then, the work is done. I have done it. I have trained for an Ironman. All that's the fun part.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


It's Thursday. It's July 2nd. It's Summer. The problem is-something happened to my State. Maine really is a beautiful place. We have the ocean. We have mountains. You can enjoy a sandy beach or a rocky shoreline. Oh, I am not even in the mood to talk about all the beauty Maine has to offer. Why? Cause it's UGLY here. I am ugly. It's been raining since...I don't know, May? Close to it. June was a total wash. Now it's July and I spent the day soaked and freezing under tents at my kid's track meet. Blek. No beach. No strawberry picking. Minimal outside play time in the sprinkler or on bikes. And nasty nasty depressing bike rides.
So I am going to Try to stop being a grouch about it and talk about my training. Note I said Try. I am really starting to feel my mood and all that slip into a coma. I have 3 boys....we need to be outside having some fun. oh yeah, my 9 y.o. has a 101+ fever. Just adds to the joy of a rainy summer.
Ok-off that.
Training is going well! It really is coming together. I can feel my fitness now. I can tackle long workouts and basically feel fine after. I love that.
I can't remember when I did what. I'll just throw things out there.
Yesterday was a long ride. I started at 5 a.m. loaded up with tons-o-fuel. I am never going to be low on calories again!! Learned that lesson. First up-hills. I found a nice big juicy hill off the main drag and started climbing. I did this 8 times. 3 minutes up, 3 minutes down. It was great!! Yeah-it hurt at the end but I felt stronger than in the past. From there I found a relatively flat road (live in the Oxford Hills..not many flat roads for more than a mile at a time...) and started pushing. I was to ride in z3 for 20 minutes. I found my zone and was steady and strong through that. Meanwhile, it was raining. No, I am serious. It was raining for real. I was sticking my fingers into my glasses to defog them and brushing my biking gloves off the front to clear the water. Lovely. 61 degrees and drizzle.
I had coerced my sometimes training partner Mike to join me for the final 3 hrs of the ride. He's doing LP too and now works for my husband. We met at the office and headed off. Coat on? coat off? (rain had the moment) I can't believe it's July and I'm STILL deciding what to wear on teh bike!! I should be in a bike shirt and shorts and that's IT! (sorry- I am Trying not to talk about it.)
So Mike and I headed off but about 5 min into it my phone rang. The babysitter hadn't shown up at my house and Mark had to go to work!! Not good. Long story short..he called her and she was there within 20 min. Phew. We headed up over Streaked Mtn. I have been climbing this mtn at least 2x/week for the past few weeks. It's about 4 miles up give or take. It's pretty tough but comparable to parts of Lake Placid. So I climb. And climb. We got to the top and I think we rode into a cloud. The visibility became 0. Nada. Thick wet mist. We were about to descend the other side-4 or so miles down- without eyes essentially. I was scared. Mike is a daredevil (he skydives.. need I say more? ) I braked the whole way down-glasses were off adn my eyes were filled with water and grit and I was just grateful I knew my way. He was gone. About a mile ahead of me. That's fine. I knew he'd wait. I found myself getting so angry that I was out there in that mess again. It's been like that for 97% of my rides. Truly. I am not kidding. I think I've been had the need for sunscreen only 2 or 3 times this summer. Pathetic. So we finally got off the mtn and it was much better thank god. The skies stayed cloudy and occasionally it was misty but we could see most of the way back. I rode well. I was in upper z2 or lower z3 for much of the ride, especially over the hilly roads. I felt fairly strong and steady here so that is comforting. I should be there for LP.
I've had some good swims. Especially today. I did 300s....9 total. I found a strong groove and held on. I enjoyed this workout. Monday is 10x400s. Watch out. Do wish I had a partner for this one though.
Running has felt good...very good...but I can't think of any interesting workouts. I'm feeling lighter and my endurance is fine.
I'm in the home stretch. 24 days.
I have a long run, a medium-long brick on Sunday and next week one more big juicy swimbikerun day.
I can taste it. I'm so close I can taste that finish line.
24 days.