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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Changes

Not sure if anyone is still out during this blog’s unexplained intermission.

The original purpose of this blog was dedicated to my journey with triathlon – and the amazing friends and experiences I've found along the way. I've been debating blogging again - and started this post last week. After letting it simmer, I think I am ready to publish it.

Over the past few months, I’ve been dealing with the decision to end a 17 year marriage. While I am not comfortable going into detail about the circumstances on this blog, there may be a few of you out there who can relate to the impact of similar personal situations that profoundly impact your sense of self – including your goals, hopes and dreams. Suffice it to say that training attempts on sleepless nights can still be therapeutic while completely unproductive to any fitness objective. I will also say that supportive family, furkids, friends and training buddies not only provide distratction, but also can be a part of rebuilding your spirit. Someday, I hope to find a way to thank my family and friends for their incredible offers of support, love – and places to stay (or escape).

I will also attest that completing an IM gives you the courage to believe that you are capable of overcoming life’s toughest situations. For several particularly challenging weeks, I wore the IM necklace my parents gave me after IMUSA to remind me of this strength – and the support and love surrounding me.

My race calendar somehow remained the same, including MightyMan in October – where I was able to watch the Traffic Connesieur rock her first half IM race – and deal with a few non-race related demons of my own.

I am a few days out from Beach to Battleship, my third IM distance race. Over the past month, things have settled down – the worst seems to be over. I think I am finding myself again. The good – and the not so good – but the me that continually hopes to learn, experience, improve and grow.

Maybe B2B can mark a new beginning – or - the first chapter to a new happy ending.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Hawai'i

I'm just sayin'...

I want to pick up my family, furkids and friends and head right back on a plane to the Big Island tomorrow.

More details to come - but here is a funny series of pics Mrs. Barracuda and I posed for in front of paintings in the official IM hotel.


No wonder Ironwoman Canada keeps telling me not to rotate.



I probably should be drafting in this pose, too - since Kokau and I did for a good chunk of the our ride on the Queen K.


Ironically, I had a few good runs down Ali'i drive - just another reason to relocate!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Kokau is Waiting in Kona

Some of you may have heard (if you've been around me for more than five minutes in the past few months) ...

I AM LEAVING ON SATURDAY FOR HAWAII!

As I posted on Facebook yesterday, this will be my first week long, non-work (well, minimal) and non-race (well, some training) destination vacation in a very long time (since honeymooning in Bermuda many, many years ago?).

I am incredibly excited about this trip for lots of reasons.

  • like watching the wedding re-enactment of the Sponsored Athlete and the Should be Sponsored Wife
  • or staying at the luxurious compound Mrs. Barracuda discovered
  • not to mention the amazing itinerary including zip lining, hikes, luaus, snuba...and....
  • and...and...BIKING parts of the Kona course!

Today, for less than the cost of taking my bike (Patriot Sangria is sulking in the corner) to the Big Island, I rented Kokua, a Cannondale Six ultra road bike. In just a few days, Kokua and I will be joining the Sponsored Couple and the Barracudas on tours through Kona, including sections of the IM World Championship bike route.

[Big smile].

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Like Buttah (or Bathwater)

After close to 50 emails back and forth trying to plan a long workout day that included an open water swim, a group of us headed up to Lake Anna this morning. Not even the rain or threat of storms was going to stop us, since we even had a boat to watch over us, courtesy of Sweet Tea Skirtboy.

At the State Park we assessed whether or not we would need to deploy our back-up covert mission, as open water swimming supposedly requires a permit that takes 30 days to acquire. The rain worked in our favor. With no one around, we headed out for a 45 minute out and back right from the beach.

The water was beautiful. No wetsuit needed as temps were probably in the upper 80s. A little too hot for some folks' liking, but just about perfect in my opinion. We broke into a few groups, with Mathelete doing backstroke (faster than my freestyle) to keep an eye on his new bride, Matheleta (or Mave). Swim Sandbagger set a strong pace with little stopping.

It was a great swim - with the added bonus of getting to draft off Pink Feet almost the entire way back.

Most of us bagged the bike due to the weather except Mathelete and Pink Feet, but the swim was still worth the early morning start and hourish ride.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

I Want to Ride My Bicycle, I Want to Ride My Bike (BUT)

Alas, Patriot Sangria and I are bummed. We missed tonight's bike with TC, SuperAnnn and the Three Sisters Expert (that is you, RB, if you still read blogs) because a work meeting ran long. Hope my fellow bicycle heathens (oooh, you should see JenBo's ideas for our hearty, mighty logo) enjoyed an excellent ride in this Hades heat.

I have not been on my bike in two whole days. I would say that my legs had recovered from last weekend's Tour de Central Virginia.

I would say that...IF...

I had not spent this morning trying to complete Pink Feet's squat/lunge intensive workout.

(You know it is a bad sign when your legs feel queasy during the exercises.)

Pink Feet believes his killer moves will help with my hill climbing - this enticement had me trying my best to overcome my lack of coordination and strength.

Silver lining, I may be able to guilt him into waiting for me after stretches of this weekend's upcoming bike trek on the hilly Lake Anna Kinetic course.

Or paint his feet pink for our covert open water swim mission.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Tour de Central Virginia

In the past 105ish hours, I've put in approximately 175 miles on the bike and rode through parts of at least six counties. During my own little Tour de Central Virginia, I've learned a few things:

  1. I have no sense of direction and should never, ever lead. In three out of the four rides, I made a wrong turn. Thursday night, I took the Traffic Connoisseur on a great tour of the Carmax parking lot (which dead ends, by the way). Then, at Pink Feet's Saturday's pancake bike through the 'ville, I ended up riding two hours by myself after getting dropped by the lead group and losing my cue sheet (still had an awesome ride - and am very grateful for the Droid Map's application). During yesterday's ride with SuperAnnn, I heard "next left" instead of "this left" after passing our right turn to finish our Goochland loop.
  2. I may have an issue with cocky stranger bike dudes. Lots of men pass me during bike rides. Most are polite and wave or say "hi." But those that ride by without even a nod kind of annoy me. Sometimes I have to jump on their wheels for a stretch.
  3. The IM base is starting to come back - at least for the bike. With three months before MightyMan and four months before Beach to Battleship, I'm logging in some miles. While Ironwoman Canada's double (and this week, triple) long bike days have been challenging, they are building up saddle calluses, neck muscles - and even my gushy quads. I only wish I had been smart enough to schedule a massage for this week.
  4. My tri/bike friends rock. Totally. Over these last few days, I've spent large chunks of time with amazing folks. I've looked forward to each ride because of their smiles, generosity, encouragement, joy, passion, talent and friendship.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Logistics

The past few days have been a whirlwind of logistics.

Reservations for sweet accommodations for MightyMan (great little condo - with my awesome sherpa parents in a neighboring unit to cheer TC and me on), Beach to Battleship (the totally cute, "shabby chic" Sand Crab Cottage makes me smile) and IMCDA (just want to live on the beach or in the wine cellar of the Copper Top Lake Lodge) are mostly complete.

At one point, I even signed over a check written to me (for B2B) to Killa-K (for IMCDA).

The next paycheck will be tight - but the worst is over for the next 362 days.

BTW - Test run today went well, I think. Should be a good sign for tomorrow's doctor's appointment and next steps. Right achillies felt pretty darn good. Funny thing - the left one was a little grumpy walking, but not running.