Monday, July 28, 2008

Chisago Half Ironman - new PR!!

Yesterday I raced the half IM up in Chisago. I was really happy with my race and it was better than last year's time and is my new PR for this distance!

2007 - last year
swim - 34:04
T1 - 1:43
bike: 2:50:13
T2 - 1:12
run - 2:17:00
TOTAL - 5:44:31

swim - 36:10 (OK maybe I do need to train a little)
T1 - 1:28
bike: 2:38:51 (20.9 mph)
T2 - :54
run: 2:00:57 (9:14s?)
TOTAL - 5:18:22.8!!!

I would liked to have gone 21 mph on the bike, but just missed it. But since I don't (and won't)  draft, I guess I should be happy that that is how fast I can go on my own personal power, not the collective power of a pack. Speaking of which, I again was annoyed all day watching groups of 2 to 10 enjoying the bliss of believing it was THEY who were so fast, not the fact that they were in a collective wind gust.

OY! I wish that on race-packet-pick-up day, or maybe as we register on-line, that we would have to fill out a 4-question questionaire about the rules of drafting (and blocking). I have to think that yes, there are many who cheat on purpose, but perhaps also many others (especially the hoards of newbies) who don't know it's illegal, or why it's illegal. They really do just blissfully think they are somehow 30% faster on race day than when they train on their own between races. But there is still nothing like getting passed by a guy in an aero helmet, a $10K bike with a disc wheel, whizzing by with about 8 inches between him and the guy in front of him. Grrrrr. OK, take a deep breath.... ;-)

Anyway, off the soapbox.

TriMom came in from Wisconsin and stayed with me - Kim did awesome, beating her previous PR by about 45 minutes. She was shooting for a 6:30 and did a 6:24. Great job! We went to church the night before and hung out, and I just have to say what fun it is to be around her - so fun, funny, and easygoing. Not to mention smoking fast on her bike!

Lots of other bloggers were there, too - Steve in a Speedo (who did awesome in the sprint - he can run a 5K under 20 minutes after swimming and biking... wow). He didn't even wear his underwear over tights during the race! I can only imagine what it's like to be really, really fast --- well fed , well-rested and well-trained, only to have Steve fly past you, wearing a costume, (fueled by a can of spaghettios and spray-can cheese product!)---  as you are high-tailing it and feelin' proud during in your "A" race. 

Bwahahahahah! ;-)

Jumper and his camera were there, with Miss Alleycat and Danielle from Iowa. Thanks Danielle for talking to me on the run - I was getting hot and tired and getting ready to start walking, just as you cruised by on your bike...

Some of my other friends that I used to just run with raced, too and - everyone did really well. It was the first half IM distance for Diane, Holly and Erin - woohoot!!

Anyway, here are a couple more pictures from yesterday - IronNick said he took a lot of good ones, too, but he hasn't loaded them yet. I'll add them after I get them.

Jumper took this one of me coming into the finish chute.

Me and Erin after the race. I came in 2nd in my age group so I got a trophy. ;-)

Me with my friend Mark (he did Phoenix marathon and Liberty Oly with Erin and me).  You can see the humidity on the air - ughhhh. As Mark was dismounting after the bike yesterday he slipped off his bike shoe and crashed right in front of everyone cheering in transition. He took a bow and continued sprinting off on the run portion. Great recovery and great road rash, dude!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Vineman Report


P and me on our practice ride.
Korbel champagne maker!

Getting ready for our wave to start.
On the bike course -- Hop Kiln winery - Bob and I went here on our honeymoon 13 years ago!

We met a really nice girl named Linda Barrett who actually raced on Lance Armstrongs wheels. Say what you want about pro cycling - I still love Lance!

The only proper way to acknowledge Lance's wheels.

Post race transition clean-up.

As you probably know Vineman was a gorgeous and perfect day! 21st Century Mom did awesome! Goal was "under 7" and she came in at 6:55 - perfect!
Here's the play-by-play:

Swim: 34:38
T1: 12:58
Bike: 3:38:53
T2: 5:18
Run: 2:23:44
Total: 6:55:33

It was a gorgeous day and if you read P's blog, you know that when we got to the Russian river, our suits not both zipped up yet, and our wave was wading into the water! You can either see that as perfect timing or extremely unsettling! But we got in just fine and still had time to wait for our wave's whistle to blow. This was only my third time in the water (at all) since school let out in June. My normal swim time for a half IM is 33 minutes, so I was only a minute slower which means I am right that "training is overrated"!

P got out of the swim after a bit and we took off on the bike. It was pleasant and cloudy and let me tell you the course was beautiful. Small country roads through wine country - past Korbel and Hop Kiln and so many other great winemakers. The bike course is mostly flat - a few very small rollers - just enough to keep it scenic - not enough to slow you down. We'd heard about the Chalk Hill hill, but were almost up to the peak of it when we realized "oh, I bet this was the famed Chalk Hill" but it was over in about 20 more seconds. A total non-event. So if you are looking for a fast fun SCENIC bike course, this is it. So fast that we saw several hot-doggers with bloody arms and knees on the run course! It's fast, but there are a lot of tight turns.

T2 was slowed down by me because I somehow lost my race bib in transition and had to get another number so that I wasn't pulled later as a bandit. Sorry P!

The run was pleasant and cool and mostly flat - a few small rollers - just enough to keep your legs fresh. We went at a comfortable 10 minute pace, and added about a minute of stops per mile (aid stations, bathroom, feeding Clif Bars to little goats on cute little farms). Speaking of aid stations, there were 14 stations on this 13 mile course (7 on the out-and-back) and they were stocked with goodies and the best volunteers you could ever meet. I love wine-people.

With 66 minutes left before the goal 7-hour mark, we had about 5 miles left, so we knew we were there, we just had to stick with it.

P was a trooper as her knee was starting to speak to her a little with 3 miles to go, but she focused on distant objects, got there and then focused on the next object. We all talk about the Mental Game, and here was P's opportunity to get to play it! So it was totally worth training for! Lucky girl!!

We crossed the finish line together (okay - I beat her by .4 seconds ;-)), and hopefully when the official pictures are loaded we will have a photo together. We had our matching outfits on (hats, too) so he may have caught us both. go to They are not up as of yet, but should be soon.

P's number is 819 (mine was 745 but I lost it and I unfortunately tossed the one they replaced it with so I don't know that number that I wore on the run course) so I may have to scour the pics for my finish photo. But it was a beautiful day.

We stayed the last night back at P's ADORABLE house in Walnut Creek, had wine and cheese for dinner, and then it was homeward bound in the morning.

I am so proud of you, P! You have really done well in this sport and I hope you decide to try the full one next. Just. show. up. You are already ready. Trust me! Just go a teeny bit easier and you will see that the day just goes by. You'll still have plenty of spare time for flats or naps. I think you should show up race day for the full next month. DO IT!!!!! Can you imagine how great a memory that will be to look back on? (...."Once time I just showed up at an Ironman with my bike and raced it"...) And what a relief to have that goal behind you? Go now before you talk yourself out of it... ;-)

I got home in the afternoon, and Bobby had left that morning for camp, so I didn't get to see him off, which means Bob packed for him. Hopefully he has everything he needs! I will see him on the 26th when he returns. I miss you Bobby!

Ally had her Junior Champs meet yesterday. It's the season-ending meet for all the kids who didn't qualify for the Championships. It's a lot of fun and they give out ribbons for every heat. So Ally got two firsts, one second, and one third in her events. She had a bast! She's totally the kind of kid who likes the everyone's-a-winner policy they have at this meet. ;-)

Ally with her friend Sloan.

Bobby had qualified in 4 events for the big meet, but would never miss camp for that. He loves camp. He never gets homesick, but when he's at home he most definitely does get "campsick". He talked about it all year. It's a co-ed Christian camp and you all already know how he embraces his faith. He still wants to be in a Christian rock band when he grows up - it's the only music he listens to - and they play guitar and sing around the campfire everynight. Anyway, it's on a lake and they swim, rope-swing, go sailing, jump on this gigantic flotation toy that when you jump off a structure onto one side of it, it shoots your friend out the tube on the other end up into the air and back into the lake. Looks like a total blast. He especially liked the archery and the night games last year (he also was really excited to tell me that a couple boys from his cabin came forward and chose to dedicate their lives to Christ last summer which he thought was totally awesome), and I can't wait to hear his stories from this year.

This weekend is the Chisago half Ironman! TriMom is coming from Wisconsin, and will be staying at my house... so I'll have another race report next week.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Vineman 70.3

I'm in California getting ready to do the Vineman half IM tomorrow. 21st Century Mom will be attempting her first half! woo-hoot!
Today we went for a really short ride, put our feet in the Russian River (where we'll swim) and got our race numbers. We drove the bike course, too - it's all these winding narrow streets through the vineyards and is soooo scenic! I will have my camera and should get lots of pictures. 
My race number is 745. If Pamela needs support, (and she says she does!!) we will be together the whole day. (I am "racing" at Chisago Half Ironman next weekend, so it's totally OK if I do this race as "support".) Pamela's number is 819. But if she gets grumpy and sends me along, I will go on!!

My husband and I went all over this part of CA on our honeymoon 13 years ago, so it is really neat to be back here, and seeing a lot of familiar sights.

We are off to check our run stuff (two separate transition areas several miles apart) and dinner - then race starts for us at 7:18 a.m.

I'll post again later!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Assorted Catch-Up blog

It was about 60 degrees on Wednesday and Susan, Shannon and I headed out for a run. It was so perfect! I hope it is JUST LIKE THIS for Twin Cities Marathon. It's Shannon's first one, so hopefully it will be so pleasant and cool and lightly cloudy just like today.

Anyway, I did 15 miles at a comfortable 10:15 pace. I did have to stop at home for a bathroom break, and I stopped to fill up my bottles in people's sprinklers, but the pace was comfortable and my avg HR was 134.

Almost none. Two or three lake swims this summer and zero pool swims. Just can't get into swimming. Don't know why. Has this happened to any of you?

Love to bike. Erin and I and a few others have been biking early, like 6am - and getting in a three hour ride before our kids get up. I love to bike. I still have my eye on a new Specialized Transition Pro, but lack the money now. Maybe I'll have a new ride in the fall. Otherwise, I do still like the feel of my old clunker and I am fast enough on it. 

The Canadian Triathlon Olympic Team members biked with us on our ride last night: Simon Whitfield, Paul Tichelaar, and Colin Jenkins. They were still in town from the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon last weekend, and joined Gear West on our weekly ride of about 25 miles or so. They were awesome! so engaging and fun and they were really enjoying Minneapolis, and so excited for Beijing. They were riding along in our group of about 40 and chatting us all up. At one point Paul pulled past and ahead, so Eric and I chased him down. I rang the bell on my bike (I really do have one) and told him that there was no budging in the line. He laughed and said I had permission to write in my blog that he was drafting off me all night, and I had to pull him because his legs were weak and he was sweating. I can't wait to watch them in the Olympics on the 19th - that's the day of their race. Paul said he was going to win it, so you have to tune in!

Olympic Team members Simon Whitfield, Paul Tichelaar, and Colin Jenkins with Eric (third)

Me with Simon Whitfield - winner of the Lifetime Fitness Tri last weekend and Olympic gold medal in 2000.

Ally slept over at Erin's house with her girls they are really such sweet girls. Ally had a blast. Bobby did a 40 minute lake swim with me and my friend Jeanne and her daughter, Margaret. I was so proud! It was a filthy lake with zero visibility and neither the depth nor the mill-foil freaked him out. Forty minutes! Wow!

I never did blog about CdA IM! We didn't have internet service at the house we rented, and then I flew up to Seattle, met my family, and headed to an island which didn't have internet (or phone!) service on most of it. So by the time I got home (plus I had surgery the day after I got back), I was swamped with laundry and unpacking and the general warp speed that my house runs on and I never got around to it. By then, everyone had written such great stories and posted such great pictures that I really had nothing new to report! But, trust me, it was such a blast and everyone did awesome. I got to meet some more bloggers, and hook up with some of my old faves.

I'm going to California this tomorrow to do Vineman Half Iron with 21st Century Mom - who called the other day to let me know that it was 105 degrees and there was smoke in the air. Hmmmmm. Should this change into a girls-weekend-at-the-mudbath-spas-in-Healdsburg? I could be talked into that!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Birthday America!

Since I could not say it any better, I will copy what Commodore said on his own blog this morning:

Amidst the merriment of today do not forget that in 1776, some of the greatest men this world has produced created a document that declared for the first time in history that the people of their government could pursue happiness, liberty, justice and capitalism without usurpation and with guaranteed freedom.

I love this country, our United States. Happy Birthday to the most generous country in the world. It and we have provided more food, more money and more aid to more countries than any other on this planet. We have sacrificed the lives of more of its citizens in the defense of freedom and protection of democratic values than any other nation that has ever existed.

We have provided shelter for the bereaved, the weak, the oppressed and the poor from all over the globe. We stood up to tyranny on our own soil, and our foundation of democracy has been duplicated by free-thinking people ever since; seeking to uplift themselves from colonialism and despotism.

A toast to the greatest nation on God's green earth. 

As my nephew Adam prepares for his second tour of duty in Iraq, I say thank you, and let freedom ring!