Race Schedule and Results

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Goodybye 2009

I know that this will be my last post of 2009. Hard to believe that the year is over. I never imagined that 2010 would come. I remember thinking that we'd all be on hover boards and flying to space by this point. Maybe someday...

Things have been great here. Christmas was awesome - quiet and just the way we like it. Christmas Eve we spent alone, Christmas morning Tom and I did our own Christmas and then Christmas night we went to my mom and dad's for dinner. We did my side of the family's Christmas on Sunday after Christmas and Tom's side of the family's Christmas the Sunday before. I was spoiled like always! :)

Tomorrow night we're heading to our friend's house for a get together with our friends - just dinner and games. It's the perfect New Year's Eve if you ask me! :) I'm not a big rock star kind of partier... two or three glasses of wine and I'm at my finest! :)

Work outs have been going really well. I've been running mostly and have enjoyed many miles on the treadmill (wait, did I just use the words "enjoyed" and "treadmill" in the same sentence???) It feels good to run a little faster again and I'm seeing gains in my running. I hope they equate to outside running, although I'm a super big baby when it's cold so I'll have to wait to test it out! I have been following the pushup/situp/squat challenge and am loving it. It's hard... I'm not going to lie. But I'm amazed where I've come in only three weeks. When I started, I couldn't do a real pushup and now I'm at around 10 per set (not on my knees - woo hoo!). The first time I did situps, I mustered out 17 and just last week I did 35 in one set. Squats have been the easiest - I do set of 40-50 at a time and my legs feel like jello when I'm done. I'm definitely going to stick with it and can't wait to put the badge of honor on here when I finish each challenge.

We had the coolest thing happen the other day. Tom and I own a company. We have our own line of orthopedic braces (think knee sleeves, elbow sleeves, etc) that we sell wholesale. I've been babying the company for the last year (technically it's been my company since 2005, but I didn't really take control until this year). Anyway, the other day I went to the post office and there was a package in our PO. I opened it up to find the January/ February 2010 issue of "Experience Life" Magazine. Attached was a letter that said something to like "we just wanted to let you know that one of your products has been featured in our magazine. Please turn to page 66". I did and in right smack in front of my eyes was one of our products! It was super cool because we hadn't submitted anything to them... their equipment editors had picked out product as one of 5 top products that they were featuring this month. I was literally jumping off the walls with excitement. It was like we had hit it big finally. It's hard to build your company from the ground up and to get recognition like this was super cool. They said that they think that the magazine hits 2.4 million readers! My little claim to fame I guess!

As 2009 comes to a close, I wish all of you a happy and healthy new year. I look forward to sharing my next year with you...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

It's all about giving

My favorite thing about the holidays is definitely the giving part of it. I laugh every night that we listen to a Ray Charles Christmas CD and one of the songs says:

Cause Christmas time
is really more than givin'.
It's spreading all the news of peace and love.
Christmas time
is all about receiving.
The gift that god has sent from up above.

The last line of that verse though is always lost when we listen to it (I don't know how we don't hear it and when I looked up the lyrics, it all made sense), but then Tom and I have the same conversation over and over about how we disagree with Ray. Ha... There is no greater joy than giving to people that I love, hence the fact that I bought Tom 19 gifts for Christmas. I know... those are material things, but the definition of "gifts" this time of year is more than the presents under the tree. I would much rather give than receive. I'm funny like that.

Tuesday, Tom and I are volunteering at the homeless shelter in downtown Columbus. Talk about giving... They have a big Christmas party there every year for the homeless families of Columbus. We'll spend the morning getting things ready (gifts wrapped for the kids, essentials for the parents , etc.) and then we'll work the evening party. Last year I think there were over 400 people in attendance. I've heard from others that it's an amazing experience and Tom and I are both really excited to be a part of it. I'm hoping to make it an annual tradition. :)

I keep reminding myself that the best way to live my life is selflessly. If I can give to others, be it my time, my love, my friendship or **gasp** "things", I'll come out a better person in the end. And at times when I'm feeling a little selfish ('cause I'll admit... I have the last day or so for a stupid reason), I just need to remember that it's all about giving!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's the holiday season...

I love the holidays. Even though it's slow around here (work that is), it's fun to kind of play hookie when I can. Today we spent the whole day with my mother-in-law, helping her pick out stuff for the new bathroom that Tom's going to install. It's a huge project, but it's going to look amazing. So much fun being able to design on someone else's dime too! :)

My Christmas shopping is 99% done. I have yet to wrap a single present for Tom yet, but the family gifts are wrapped (I think I have things ass backwards though since we aren't celebrating Christmas with my family until AFTER Christmas). I guess I better get cracking on his 19 gifts - yeah, he's spoiled a little, although I stayed within our budget!!!). Just putting bows on things doesn't cut it in this household! :)

I've been enjoying my off season a ton too. I've had some good hard runs (and even a sub 25 5k on the treadmill the other day), I've not biked on the dreaded trainer, but I've played on the elliptical and swam. I'm feeling good - fresh and having fun. I did laugh because I went to the gym alone yesterday and swam. There was a guy in the lane next to me who would wait until I turned and then race me to the end and back. I'd turn and he'd stop to catch his breath. He totally tried to play it off that he wasn't racing against me, but here's the truth - Mr. I'm-going-to-race-the-girl-in-the-lane-next-to-me-who-is-actually-swimming-1500m-straight, you didn't win. Not once. And I wasn't racing you back. If I had picked up my pace, you would have gotten chicked really bad and I didn't want to ruin your evening. Plus I was singing along to my SwiMP3 player - makes you feel kind of dumb now doesn't it? Plus, who swims like 10 laps in a 20 meter pool and calls it a day? :) Just kidding - I was there once!

The 100 push up, 200 squat, 200 sit up challenge is going great too. I'm on week 2 and loving it. Don't know how the heck I'm ever going to do 100 push ups or 200 sit ups (the squats I'll master in no time), but it's fun trying!

The only bad thing about the off season - holiday weight gain. Tom looks amazing and hasn't gained anything since the Ironman (I actually think he's lost weight which is weird, but whatever). I haven't gained much - maybe 3 pounds total, but it's so darn frustrating. I want to eat everything.

Did I mention that I have a cookie exchange on Monday. 11 dozen cookies are coming home with me. BLAH. I think I'm going to give them all to neighbors. Except for the iced sugar cookies. Those will go in my belly. :)

Hey, it's the holidays right? :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

And then I uttered the words

Those 8 words that I didn't think I'd ever utter again -

I think I want to do another Ironman.

Tom and I were talking the other night and those words came out of my mouth. Talk about verbal diarrhea! What was I thinking and can I take it back? :) No, I meant it. That's the competitor in me. I had these goals to go sub 13 hours this year in Florida and it didn't happen. I was disappointed the days that followed my helluva race, but knew that I couldn't do anything about it. Now, after the wounds have healed, I just feel like I still have it in me. At some point. It's not going to be this year and quite possibly won't be next year. But, I foresee it happening before I enter a new age group (I turn 30 in February so that means I'll do another one as a 30-34 AG participant).

So what does my 30th birthday year hold?
  • I have decided that I'm going to complete the 100 push up and 200 sit up competition. I'm going to start next week and would love to complete it by my birthday (February 5th), but realistically, I'll have to do a few of the weeks more than once and it's a 6 week competition. You may remember that I'm the Ironman that can't do a push up. :)
  • I think I want to do another marathon (yup, more diarrhea of the mouth people). This time I'm aiming for a flat course. And a sub 4 hour race. My PR is 4:20 on a hilly course so we'll see.
  • I want to go 2:3x in an Olympic. My PR is 2:42:xx. I.m anxious to work on my speed in the pool, do some intervals on the bike and well if I want to run a sub 4 hour marathon, I'm going to need to get my speed up a little which should equate on the run of an Olympic. I feel like this is where I struggled this year.
  • I have a VERY lofty goal of a 1:49:xx half marathon. Last year I pulled a 1:51:10 out of my butt in April. Where that came from I don't know, but I kind of liked it. It's only an 8:23 pace which should be doable - but I have some work to do!

Now if I can just kick this cold that has my head in a bubble, maybe I can get cracking on these goals.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Some randomness

'Cause I can't put all my thoughts in a cohesive post (ah, the truth be told)

  • I love getting jeans from the Gap for $9.99. That's a bargain. And they are size 6! (So what if the tag says that they are mismarked - I've convinced myself that they really must have been size 4's and that I'm actually get smaller after Ironman - a girl can hope right?). Even better when the hubster asks for his wallet for the credit card (which we have jointly) to tell me that he wants to treat me!
  • I get annoyed easily. it's not a trait that I like about myself, but today for instance, we were in a bike shop. It's kind of a hippie bike shop. Just thought that I'd stop in and see if they had anything I must have. Not only did they not have anything that I must have (annoying), but they DID have the most annoying owner in the world. No, I don't care about your racing team, I don't care about what pro triathlete you hung out with and had to borrow his bike because yours was delayed and that you're scared of his wife, I didn't want to see your wife's website, I don't want the free pants you had in the back as long as I spent $75 in the store, etc. Case in point... I left with nothing in my hands and a huge amount of annoyance in my heart.
  • It frustrates me that people close to me have crappy relationships in their life. And I'm not talking about husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend relationships. I'm talking family here people. I've had my fair share of crap with my "married-into" family. I deal with it daily. Tom deals with it daily. I wish others didn't have to go through it. If you are reading this, you know who you are and you are both great people. And your niece will come to you some day and tell you how crazy her mama and padre are and you will know that you are good people and can help her! :)
  • I'm craving sugar cookies. Just wanted to throw that out there.
  • My grandpa asked me how the Ironman was today and then followed the sentence up with "How's everyone else in your house?". I love him. He may have Alzheimer's and not remember that I'm married to Tom, but he's the happiest, most loving man in the world! :)
  • Why can't grown-ups act like grown-ups?
  • And why do some people feel the need to never tell the truth? At least I can smile about it now, but it caused me so much pain for 8 years.
  • In high school I had a best friend. In college I had a best friend. Now that I'm an old married lady, it's reassuring to have found a new best friend. This time, I don't think that I'll grow out of the friendship. You're stuck with me for life girlie!
  • My grandmother told my mom that Tom and I are such a cute couple and that when we decide to have babies, they are going to be adorable. Either that or they will look like bucktooth monkeys. I've seen baby pictures of both of us... we were sights to be seen. God bless her.
  • Speaking of kids - I know I'm turning 30 in February. I know that I'm not doing an Ironman next year. I know that my mom doesn't have any grand babies and would love some little munchkin to spoil. Yet, the fear of giving birth to a human being scares me shitless. How do you get over that?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Sunday? Saturday?

I love holiday weekends because just when I think that tomorrow is Monday, I realize that it's only Saturday and I have one more day before I have to work again. Maybe my brain is still in a food coma from Thursday's dinner!

Friday morning I did something that I always wanted to do and never could find anyone who was willing to do it with me - I got up at 3:30 to Christmas shop. I didn't really have all that much to get, but what a way to get into the spirit. I met my friend Rhiannon at 4am at Kohls and we hit probably 10 other stores before parting ways. It was so much fun. Tom never would have enjoyed it. Between the lines and the sleep deprived chipper women (and men), it would have been enough to make him divorce me - hell he slept until just before I got home. It's definitely a tradition that Rhiannon and I are going to have each year!

It's hard to believe that it's almost December. I don't know where November went. I feel like I just did the Ironman last week. And December is going to be busy so I'm sure I'll soon be saying "where did December go". Between cookie exchanges, secret santa exchanges, the actual holiday, a Christmas jazz show, and New Year's Eve, I think it's going to be over before I can blink.

Lots of plans for 2010 - trips, racing, business, etc. One of these days I'll spell it all out in a "where do I go from here" post which should have been the one after my final Ironman post. :)

Best of luck to Kim tomorrow in Cozumel. I know she won't be reading this before the race, but I'm sending you big kick ass vibes from Ohio. I've gotten over my jealousy of her being in Cozumel, especially knowing what lies ahead of her tomorrow!!! Go get 'em girlfriend, or should I say "Buenas suerta, chiquita!"

Thursday, November 19, 2009

And then it fell apart

Or maybe I fell apart!

T2 was fine. I was happy to be off my bike and quickly made my way through changing and hitting the potties once more before the run.

The first mile or so of the run I felt fine. Kind of in a fog quite honestly. I saw my friend Edie and her brand new son cheering me on right outside of transition and I think that carried me for a little while. But then my stomach flipped. It hadn't felt "right" on the bike, but didn't really bother me. With every step of the run, it flipped over once more. I saw Tom at mile 3 and faked a smile, told him about my penalty on the bike (which made him laugh) and continued on my way. I shuffled. That's about all I could muster. I knew it would be a long day.

I saw my mom and dad at mile 5. I told them I wasn't feeling great, but that I'd be fine. I knew that it would worry my mom to tell her how I really felt. Miles 6, 7 and 8 were very hard - emotionally and physically. I wanted to be running, but my stomach was horrible. I tried Tums, I tried making myself sick, I tried anything I could at the aid stations. I was running through St. Andrews park and it was beautiful. The sun was setting. I was running in an Ironman. I wanted to feel good. My legs felt fine. Why couldn't I go? This picture makes it look like I was having fun.When I saw my parents again around mile 9, I told them that I knew I'd be walking soon. My stomach just couldn't take the jostling of the run. About the same time I saw Tom and that's when I lost it.

FULL.OUT.TEARS

I didn't want to cry. I didn't want to walk. I wanted to feel as good as he look. It just wasn't happening. He hugged me, told me to do a run/walk, told me he loved me and that he believed in me. I didn't believe in me at this point. I shuffled along to the half way point. I saw mile 14. 12.2 miles left. I can do this.

But I was so nauseous. I started walking around mile 15. I just figured I would walk the rest of the race. It's a humbling thing to have to walk a race that you know you are fit enough to run, simply because of your upset stomach. It's the only way that my stomach was alright. No great, but alright. I saw my mom around mile 18 and told her that I was walking and would like her to walk miles 20-25 with me (just to give me company). It was totally dark at this point and my legs were starting to hurt from walking. At mile 17, I decided that I needed to figure out if it felt worse to shuffle slowly or walk. I was back in the park and at this point couldn't see anything. I befriended a guy who was in the same boat as me. He was sick, walking, in pain. He wanted to finish, but knew that the road was still a long one. We would point out things - lights, cars, trees, and say "let's run to that spot". Then we'd walk a little. We repeated this until we were out of the park. Michael (my new Ironman friend) asked if I do this alone. I told him that Tom had already finished and on cue, as if I had planned it, Tom bikes up. Seeing him totally lifted my spirits!

After Michael figuring out that my hubby was a badass, we talked about me walking with my mom. I asked Michael what his goal was and he said that he would continue our shuffle/walk plan. He gave me company. I thanked my mom when I saw her and just told her to meet me at the finish.

My stomach started to feel better in the last 6 miles. I don't know if it was the walking or what. Michael and I talked about everything... it took my mind off things. Our walk breaks became longer and although I probably could have shuffled in, I stuck with him. I didn't care about my time and I knew that I would finish. I was so elated that I didn't feel like I wanted to hurl.

At mile 25 I wanted to run in. I was **this** close to the finish and I knew that my adrenaline would get me there. Michael stopped to use the potty and I said my goodbye to him. I was off to become an Ironman again. The last mile was a blur. The crowd was amazing. As I rounded the corner to the finish, I saw that I had the shoot to myself. And let me tell you ...

IT WAS AMAZING!

So much different that last year, but just as cool! I took it all in, repeated to myself "you must not trip, you must not trip". I smiled as they said "Colleen Kingery, you are an Ironman". I think the picture says it all.This wasn't the race that I thought it was going to be, or even hoped it would be. I had images of myself PRing, feeling great, smiling the whole way. The Ironman Gods definitely tested me. They humbled me a little. They toughened me up a bit. I learned a lot about pushing myself past the point of comfort, I learned what the draft box is, I learned that I don't give up when the going gets tough. That's all part of the Ironman journey. And unless you've done an Ironman, you can't fully appreciate it. It's so much more than a really long day of swimming, biking and running. It's a journey. You feel so alone at times and so part of a group of amazingly crazy people just like you. And there's no way to describe the feeling you get when you hear that you're an Ironman. The first time, the second - it doesn't get old!

Tom and I didn't sign up for next year's race. I'm happy. I need a change. I'm looking forward to shorter racing and training, to moving my business forward, to spending more time with family and friends, to strengthening my already amazing marriage, to having time for "me". I need this.

Thank you to everyone for your continued support. I have the world's best husband, who happens to be my training partner and best friend. Brady, you never cease to amaze me (he PR'ed by 10+ minutes this year) and I appreciate you pushing me, supporting me and loving me, tears and all! I have great parents who have yet to miss an important race and I thank them so much for their continued support as their daughter takes on these crazy challenges. I thank my sister and brother-in-law for the constant pep talks!!! I have an extended family that many could only dream of. I have the most amazing friends - your patience and support means so much to me and I'm so happy that I finally get to see you guys again! And to my blogger friends... I appreciate the friendships that I have with complete strangers! And to athlete #610 - thanks for getting me through those last 6 miles! :) You too are an Ironman now!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Part II

T1 was kind of a cluster if you ask me. Last year, you left the beach after getting stripped, ran through a little opening in a building, picked up your special needs bag and went 5 feet to a changing tent. This year things were totally different - for the worse if you ask me! You still ran through the building, got your bags, but now had to run to a building on the other side of transition to go into an overcrowded smelly tent to change. I actually grabbed my transition bag and stood in line to get into the tent. It wasn't right! T1 was a chaotic mess as usual. God bless the women who volunteer in the change tent. They see A LOT of women parts - granted Ironman women tend to be in decent shape, but ew... it's still a lot of women. :) The carpet of the building was wet and sandy. I found a spot, emptied my bag, had a great volunteer, quickly changed (although pulling bike shorts up when your wet is not fun or quick and yes, I changed shorts because my whoha just can't handle tri shorts for 112 miles) and was on my way. I exited the tent right next to my bike, but again, had to run all the way to the other side of transition, only to turn around and come all the way back and get my bike. In bike shoes. T1 took me 8:49.


I got on my bike and it was a gorgeous day. I had arm warmers on, but didn't need them which was a nice thing. It was sunny as could be and the first 7 miles or so just flew by (I had a tailwind which helped). We made our first turn around mile 8 and I started thinking "this is going to be a long day". I got settled in and just rode. There were bike everywhere and clumps of people on each other's wheels. I wondered if drafting would be as prevalent this year as last year. I turned at mile 20ish and got smacked with what would be my biggest enemy for the next 30 miles - a straight headwind. It sucked! And for the record, Ironman Florida might be flat, but this 30 mile stretch is a lot of false flats. It was tough and sucked your energy out. I stopped at mile 35ish to use the facilities and had to wait on line. Yup... the joy of being a woman that day. :( I had not other choice! Special needs came around mile 48. I always laugh at Special Needs. I stopped, refilled my bento and was on my way. Others lay in the grass, have a picnic, etc. I guess they realize that it's a long day and they might as well enjoy it. To each is own! I'm still fighting the headwind at this point and know that the turn is coming soon. I can't wait.


Then it happens...


I make the turn about mile 50 and I'm coasting along on a 4 lane road. All lanes are open to the public and there are quite a few cars. People have spread out a little, but I still see clumps of bikers. I've worked so hard to keep my 7 meters all day because the motorcycles and race officials are EVERYWHERE. I get up close to a man that I want to pass and know that I'll have to go out into the lane to pass him. I get right by his wheels and hear a car. Not wanting to kill myself as I pass him, I drop back. He slows to which means that I'm in the draft box too long. Of course a race official saw the whole thing and had no pity for me. "Number 2307 - that's a red violation. Serve your 4 minute penalty at the next penalty tent." AHHHHHH! I was so pissed! Especially since I was trying so hard to not draft. I silently cursed Ricardo who was the man in front of me who had slowed as I dropped back, but of course just smiled as I passed him a few minutes later. All I could think about was the damn penalty. And I wondered how far the next penalty tent was. I knew there had been one around mile 20. Surely another was coming up. I kept my eyes peeled. I see the 60 mile sign, the 70 mile sign, the 80 mile sign. Now I'm worried that I missed it and I'll be disqualified or something. And I've totally embraced the fact that I'll sit for 4 minutes once I find the tent. Finally around mile 90 I see it. I stop. I've never gotten a penalty so I didn't know the routine. There were 3 other girls in the tent, all bitching about the same thing as me - how come the guys get away with it and when we don't think that we are drafting, we get dinged! They hand me a stopwatch which I have to hold for 4 minutes. They mark all my numbers with "X", and laugh about how fresh we'll feel on the run because of our break. Not funny... The head lady at the tent had a clipboard and said that she's never seen so many drafting penalties in her life. She was on page 11 and there were 8 people on each page. She was only 1 of 3 penalty boxes. My 4 minutes was up soon enough and I hopped back on my bike, grumbling to myself the whole time. I only had about 22 miles left - I wasn't going to let it ruin my day.
The last miles went fast - the tailwind helped... and maybe the 4 minutes off my bike! It's funny how you try to occupy your time on the bike too - for me, it was trying to convert the kilometer markers to miles. Sure I could have just looked at my computer, but that's not nearly as fun right? :) I was excited to get back to transition though and start my run. I knew that I would have a PR in the bike, even with the penalty which made me happy. I haven't been feeling very confident on the bike lately and well... let's face it, I hate riding in the wind so to survive that, I was pleased. The crowds really bring you in the last few miles. It's almost surreal. Another successful leg - besides the penalty. Total bike time was 6:33:29 - 17.1mph. That was fine with me. (I have to note that Tom had an awesome day on the bike. He finished in 5:22 something which was 20.8mph. He was really happy with that and said that he felt the wind a lot too! He also thought it was so cool that I got a penalty - So cool honey, let me tell you! He's weird!)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Alright... here ya go

I could write one big post, but that would take FOREVER! So, I'll split it for you, include some pictures, and keep you coming back for more! HA!

So we left for PCB on Tuesday. We knew that we were going to drive the whole trip in one day because we were super excited to get to the beach. It's a long drive - took us 14 + hours. BLAH! Wednesday we checked in at the race -the expo is always fun and probably not nearly as crazy as the following days. After mom and dad made their sign, we took some pictures, I bought a shirt, etc., went grocery shopping and then plopped ourselves on the beach. It was heavenly. We went for a short run that day and my legs felt encased in cement. I wasn't nervous at all which I thought was bizarre and should have been foreshadowing for the days ahead, but whatever. The view and location for this Ironman is the best!!!
Thursday we went to the Gatorade swim. They let you swim the course which I like to do because of the salt water and well, because I'll admit that I hadn't swam in the open water since September. Yikes! The water was cool, clear and REALLY salty! :) I forget how much that stuff burns if you swallow it or it goes in your nose! My goggles were leaking which was something new. I panicked. Luckily the day before I noticed that the expo was selling the ones I use so I went and bought new ones and told Tom that I needed to come back on Friday and test them. #1 rule with the Ironman is don't use something new for race day. Since I had only tried my new wetsuit on Thursday, I figured swimming with new goggles on Friday would totally make up for that rule! :)

Friday I woke up with a full panic. I don't know if it was because of the swim the day before and the goggle fiasco or what, but that morning I tested the new goggles (which I must say is one of the best things ever... new goggles - no scratches, a good suction). I felt much calmer in the water without the salt water burning my eyeballs so I was happy. How can you not love swimming when the scene looks like this???
We then went to the pancake breakfast (gotta love free pancakes). We were sitting outside and I went up to a girl to ask about her bike (she had an Orbea Ora too, but it had a great paint job). As we were talking, she said "do you have a blog?" Come to find out that she reads my blog!!! So Jen, if you are reading this, it was great to meet you and I hope you had a fabulous first Ironman experience!

We checked our bikes and bags on Friday afternoon, had an early dinner and then hit the bed around 8pm. It's amazing how tired you can be the night before the Ironman. Tom was freaking out a little with nerves, I was beyond that point and I think our bodies were just done. I slept like a baby!!!

RACE DAY!!!
The alarm went off at 4:20. It was dark, but you could hear the waves crashing on the beach. My stomach flipped. I cried (it's a morning ritual before a race... I'm a girl, what can I say). Oh, did I mention that I started my period on Friday night - total emotion overdrive! Sorry guys for the TMI, but a girl needs to just bitch about this a minute. I totally think women doing the Ironman on their periods should be given a special award because it sucks. I'm just throwing that out there. We made breakfast, grabbed our sodas and head down to transition. It's like another world down there! Got marked, finished last minute checks of our bikes and gear, found the potties, and then sat and waited. I honestly think this is the worst part of the morning. It's knowing what's ahead and just waiting for the time that you have to walk to the beach. Nerves can get the best of you.
We started getting suited up around 6:15 and made our way to the beach shortly after. The water was definitely a little rougher than last year, but because of daylight savings being a week early, we could at least see everything. Somehow at somepoint on the beach, the nerves just disappear. We said a quick goodbye to my mom and dad, walked to the starting coral, listened to the National Anthem and out of nowhere, the cannon sounded. It comes so fast! Tom kissed me goodbye and we made our way into the washing machine.
If you've never experienced an Ironman swim start, you can't fully appreciate the utter chaos. There are arms, hands, feet, bodies flying everywhere. You look up to sight and all you see are heads - where are the buoys? You can barely put your head in the water and when you do, you worry about your goggles getting hit off or your face getting punched. It's a brawl. The first lap of the swim in Florida you just kind of go with the flow. I felt like I was in a dirty nightclub. People would grab my body and hold on as they swam over me. Their hands would land on my neoprene covered butt and they'd push it down as they tried to complete their strokes. You have to be a confident swimmer to do the Ironman. I may not be fast, but I can hold my own. The water was rough. Lots of waves, even more mouthfuls of salt water! I got out on the first lap in 40 minutes. Right on track. I stopped to tighten my chip (it felt loose) and realized the second lap would be much more rough than the first due to the waves. As we entered the water on the second lap, people were getting knocked down by the waves. I found my groove quickly, but it was a lot of up and down. I couldn't get a good rhythm with breathing because inevitably right as I would breath, a wave would get me. I had a hard time sighting the buoys and timing the waves. The second lap seemed to drag a little. I got out at 1:27:24. I was happy with that. I knew it was rougher than last year, and they didn't let us cut it as short this year (teehee) so I was happy. I got my wetsuit peeled, saw my parents and ran to T1. The madness had just begun!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I want to post a race report

But it's going to have to wait a few days until I can get my head clear! :) Too much going on right now.

The most important news is that I finished the Ironman in 14:14:33. It was a hell of a day - rough swim which I think caused me to get a little seasick, crazy ass transitions that were NOT efficient, windy first half of the bike, learning was the draft zone is first hand, and then a nauseous stomach for the entire run. Oh, did I mention that I started my period the night before? Yeah, the Ironman God's had it out for me. But, like always, I made it through with a smile on my face, a few tears and sweet relief that it's over! :)


And I didn't trip at the finish line! That right there my friends, is success in itself! I have pictures to prove it! :)
More to come in the next few days!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I need a vacation

Good thing I'm leaving on Tuesday for PANAMA CITY BEACH!!!!! :)

I'm so freaking excited. The weather looks awesome (upper 70's and sunny every day, including race day). Things have been a tad stressful around our house - between running a company, Tom being gone 15 of 31 days in October for Team Type 1, training a crap ton and all the other every day necessities (like keeping up with house cleaning - how does my dog have any hair left???). Both of us can't wait to just lay on the beach, walk in the sand, drink beer, oh...

and race an Ironman!

Small detail - but I'm actually really looking forward to it. Of course I'm totally doubting that I've done enough training, but who doesn't go through that a week before a 140.6 mile race. Weirdly enough I'm worried the most about the bike which is usually the thing I'm most comfortable with. We didn't do a ton of long rides - a 100, two 90's, an 80 and two 70's, but I've put a lot of miles in elsewhere. My swimming feels good. I have done three 2.4 mile swims (or thereabouts... depends on how long the pool really is). In any event, they were all 10-12 minutes faster than the same length last year. And my running - who am I kidding - I don't run in the Ironman. It's more of a one-foot-in-front-of-the-other shuffle to the finish line. :) I'd love to go sub 5 hours on the marathon which I should be able to do any day, but you never know how the day is going to turn out. Last year I went 5:04 and actually felt good (I told you it was a shuffle) so we'll see. Again, I have no time goals... just want to hear them say "You are an Ironman" (which I missed hearing last year because I was so overwhelmed with the finish line - I'm sure that'll happen again this year!!!).

I hope to update pictures and stuff throughout the week. Send me good race vibes and I'll be thinking about all of you as I'm sipping cocktails in a bathing suit at this time next week (yes, I know that it's only 1:57 in the afternoon, but I'll probably still be sipping drinks then!)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

We're getting closer...

The days are ticking by which is good! We leave a week from yesterday and I absolutely cannot wait to be on the beach of Panama City. If you've never been, it's heaven! Tom's traveling one last weekend, so for the next few days I'm going to start pulling stuff together and just laying it out. You would never in a million years begin to imagine what we bring for a one day race! You really need everything. Luckily there is a Wallyworld right down the street for last minute things and it's always so funny doing grocery shopping - everyone is buying bottled water, bread, PB, bananas, pasta, chicken. It's invaded with shaved leg, fit people, who walk around almost comatose, as a million tasks run through their head (much different than the spring break crowd that I'm sure they are used to!)

Bib numbers were assigned. I'm 2307. Tom's 570.

No goals this year - I had such an awesome time last year racing. I kept a smile on my face the entire time and just kept trying to make myself realize that I was living a dream. It was truly amazing. I'm hoping this year's race is much of the same. I don't care if I go faster. Not one bit. I just want to live in the moment, remember that I'm doing something that so few even attempt, and enjoy the experience because after all, Ironman is an experience.

Oh, and I hope that the turf monster doesn't get my ankle at the finish line this year - I guess that's my only goal! :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Living for the taper

It's funny how people freak out when it becomes taper time - taper tantrums as I like to call them. You know you are ready, you know that your body is thanking you for the rest, but you FREAK out with a capital F! Full on panic mode in some cases. And yet lately, I feel like I've been living one day at a time, trying to get to my taper. Now that it's here, I'm scared to see how my mind and body will react! :)

We did our last "longer" workouts the last few days and although I totally dragged butt through them (a sure sign that I'm ready for the taper to begin), they went well. We did back to back 10 mile runs on Sunday and Monday and then with very dead legs did 90 on the bike yesterday - in the wind. And I'm talking hold-on-to-my-bike-and-lean-into-the-gusts-so-I-don't-fall-off kind of wind. We did the lat 8 miles inside because it was so windy. And then it happened...

Full on, taper tantrum.

Tom had put a video of IMFL 2008 in the DVD player thinking it would pump me up.I sat on my bike and sobbed.

Freaking scared me shitless!

I guess that's a good thing. If you don't respect the distance of the race, all 140.6 miles of it, you won't finish. I respect it alright. In fact it freaks me out a little. Sure I did the race last year, sure I know what to expect, but it's only 2.5 weeks away.

2.5 weeks people!

There's no turning back (not that I want to and I need to make that perfectly clear).

So in the next 2.5 weeks, as I bring my mileage down, as my muscles recover a little, as I prepare mentally for what lies ahead, let's hope the taper tantrums stay at bay. I may have felt like the time would never come and that I was living for the taper, but sometimes that harder than the race!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Always wondering

I'm always wondering if I'm doing enough, if I'm getting better, if I'm pushing myself enough, etc. All signs point to yes, yes, and yes, but there's still a bit of wonder. I don't know if that's just my personality or if that's what people training for an Ironman due 4 weeks before the race (although I must say that it's been happening as long as I can remember, but that's besides the point).

This weekend I feel like I had a great weekend and I'm really happy with the results. I swam my first 2.4 on Saturday morning. Granted it was in the pool, but I'm sorry, that's probably the most boring thing that I can do to prepare for the Ironman! Thankfully some person with God-like qualities invented a SwiMP3. Made my 200 laps SO much more enjoyable. I didn't really "push" myself as much as just swam a comfortable pace. Last year I did two 2.4 mile swims in our pool so I had time to compare with. Last year, I swam them in 1:22:00 and 1:23:36. Saturday, I COMFORTABLY swam them in 1:12:48!!! I was so stinking excited. I know that I've been feeling so much more comfortable in the pool, but that's a huge difference! I'm hoping that it will equate in the open water because it hasn't in the past, but that was a huge confidence booster!

I then proceeded to bike 2:40 indoors - this might rival swimming 200 laps in a pool in terms of dreadful! I wanted to bike outside, but I just couldn't get myself to do it. So I struggled through a long, slow, painful indoor ride (luckily the Real Housewives of Atlanta Marathon was on... those girls are fully of drama to keep my mind busy). I only got off the trainer at 9:15 last night. I will say though - we watch the World Championships throughout the day on the live stream and what a freaking great thing for me. I was so caught up in the excitement that it made it easy to keep going. Chrissie Wellington is in one word, AMAZING! And of course I cried like a baby when I saw her finish. Very cool!

This morning we had a half marathon. Figuring my legs would be mush, I wasn't expecting great things. Oh, and I realized what biking until 9:15 at night will do to my night's sleep - I probably could tell you every detail about my bedroom since I was WIDE awake until 3 in the morning. The alarm when off at 6:10. YUCK! I literally felt like hell the entire drive down (thankfully my hubby drove). I was able to eat my breakfast and drink my pre race diet coke, but I was so nauseous. And my throat was killing me (I was coughing all night too and I think it did a number on my throat). Toeing the line, I felt like I had been hit by a bulldozer. It was a great morning for a run though - cold actually, but the leaves are starting to change. This is a half that we do every year so we knew the course and knew that it would be well run - it didn't disappoint. I didn't turn my watch on and it was great. I just ran. And better yet, I finished in 1:56 something (maybe 1:57 according to their clock, but it wasn't chip timed, although Tom had his Garmin). Tom and I realized that in every race we've done this year, we beat our time from last year. I must be getting better right? And even after 3 hours and 40 minutes of training yesterday, I was able to maintain sub 9:00's without too much trouble. Makes me a happy girl.

Stopped at Noodles on the way home (their mac and cheese was sure to make my belly feel better) and now I'm relaxing and making applesauce. It was a tough weekend... maybe not the longest, maybe not the hardest, but definitely a good confidence building weekend which was much needed!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Ahhhh

It's amazing what a good sweat session will do for your body! :)

Because it's raining (again) in Ohio, I decided to hit up the gym today for a swim and run. The pool was closed (and to think that I was actually looking forward to my 3000+ meter swim). What's a girl to do? I trekked upstairs and found what seems to be the only working treadmill. (I'm picky... the tv needs to work)

Decided I would run a 10k. Lately my runs have been slow. I actually have felt like my legs were encased in cement for the last oh, I don't know, maybe 2 months). I started out at an 8:59 pace (heck, that's faster than I've been running). Felt good. At .5 miles, I increased it to an 8:47 pace. Breathing a little harder. At .75 miles, I upped it again to an 8:41. I can do this. At 1 mile I cranked that baby up to an 8:35 pace (yeah, I know... no Kenyan speeds here, but we are talking about the girl that's been averaging over 9:30's lately and is just getting over a cold). I felt good at 8:35. I ran there until the 5 mile mark.

From here I increased the speed every 1/10 of a mile by just one pace number (what's that called anyway???).

The next thing I know, I'm cranking out .3 miles at a 7:35 pace. And I'm feeling good. I'm sweating like a pig, but I'm feeling good.

And I was probably grunting a little (sorry to the two guys on either side of me... the one holding on as he was walking and the one who immediately increased his speed when I got on and then died and backed it down to a 10:30/mile). But you know what, I was here to work.

I finished my 10k in 53 minutes. I was happy with that. In the spring, I did a 10k on the treadmill in 50 minutes so I have a ways to go. And I know that running on a treadmill is much different than pushing these little legs on the road, but whateva...

It still felt good!

Tomorrow I get to ride on my indoor trainer for 3 hours. Have I told you how much I hate the indoor trainer? Should be a blast! Then it's off for dinner and drinks with some friends - a welcome end to a dreadful workout I'm afraid!

I think I can... I think I can...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Run down...

I knew this would happen eventually and I'm only shocked that it took this long.

I have a cold.

I feel yucky.

I have zero energy.

BLAH!

We've had a tough couple of days with workouts. Sunday we ran 20 miles. It was hellish to say the least. I don't know why, but I felt like someone had taken my hamstrings and tied them in knots. It was really frustrating because mentally I wasn't in the run at all. I had more moments of lows than highs. I doubted myself a lot and it was really annoying. And my running has gotten so slow. We only averaged 9:53's for the run. Funny that in April I did a 20 miler and averaged 8:44's. I'm looking forward to concentrating on my speed in the off season and get back into the sub 9's. I know it'll just take a little work and I'll be right back where I want to be!

Yesterday we set out for 100 on the bike. Again, my mind just wasn't right. It was chilly, and windy, and the last place I wanted to be was on the bike. I mustered my way through 79 miles and called it a day. I was spent, but happy that I had made it 79 miles further than I originally wanted to when I started out! Take that little person who sits in my brain and tells me I'm weak!

The past two days I felt like I was being put through the ringer. At this time in training, I should be able to get through both workouts without too many problems. Why was I struggling so much? I hate making excuses, but of course this morning I woke up with a sore throat and now I'm just drained. I'm sniffling, I'm sneezing, my head hurts. Maybe, just maybe, that has something to do with the total lethargy that I'm fighting (a girl can hope right???) Oh and I got a flu shot this morning so I feel like I want to rip my arm off.

Lovely site huh?

I don't know what it is about my second Ironman. The training has been so tough. I'm super excited about going to PCB and racing, but some days I feel like my heart just isn't 100% there. I want it to be, I talk to myself all the time about how it's going to be much harder if I don't get there mentally before race day, I visualize myself having a great day. But I've already decided that next year I don't want to do an Ironman. I feel like some days the Ironman defines me and I don't want that to be the case. I'm a triathlete, but that's not all I am. The Ironman (well really the training) is such a daunting task and it seems like it's really taken a toll on me mentally and physically so much more than it did last year. I think the break for me next year will do a girl some good. Can I get an Amen? Plus I'm super excited to become better in all three disciplines.

When the going gets tough (which it seems to be lately) I refer to a card that my wonderful friends gave me at the beginning of my training that says:

"Behind every success is effort...
Behind every effort is passion...
Behind every passion is someone with the courage to try."

I think that'll get me through the next month. And I know I'll be fine. And I know I'll have fun. I'm not a quitter or a wuss. It really does take courage some days...

I just hope this cold doesn't linger (and I secretly hope that's why I've struggled so much lately)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Success

Knowing that you're successful at something is one of the best feelings in the world. Helping others is probably the only thing that could rival the feeling of success. That and maybe having fun at what your doing.

I experienced a triple threat last night!

For the last year, I've been working as the Chairwoman of an event for our local hospital that we were calling "High Heels and High Hopes". It was sort of a girls night and all the proceeds would benefit our local hospital's women's health services. We had wine tasting, spa services, a silent and live auction, food stations, a comedian - a jam packed night. In the past, the hospital fundraisers were great, but had kind of gotten... I don't know... maybe stale? Same people year after year. By throwing out the idea of a women's night, we were definitely shaking things up in our little town.

Last night we had over 300 attendees. (we actually had to turn people away the last week because of limited space - a chair person's dream and nightmare at the same time!) Women were laughing and drinking and smiling the whole night. As the chair, I couldn't have been more proud of the work the committee did. I know I get a lot of credit, but it was definitely a group effort by an amazing group of people. We got such amazing feedback from the attendees too which was wonderful.

Mission accomplished - a successful event, the money we raised will help local women, and best of all - we had fun!!!

The big question still remains... is there a place big enough for next year's event??? Oye ve... my job has just begun!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Holy Wind

I swear that Mother Nature doesn't like me. There, I've said it. I'm convinced of it. Or maybe it's just the Toyota Challenge Half Ironman. That race is my arch nemesis. Yet...

I keep signing up for it.

I'm a glutton for punishment, what can I say?

Anyway, the race was Sunday. Tom and I, and my mom and dad rented a cabin in the woods (rustic doesn't begin to describe it... no, it wasn't that bad, although Tom and I did relive our college days and slept in bunk beds - separate ones of course, just like college!!!) It meant we were only 5 minutes from the race start. When we checked in on Saturday, they told me that they didn't have start times yet. Lovely... no freaking clue when I have to be down there! This wasn't looking good already!

Sunday morning we woke to rain. It was cold and rainy, the only thing I haven't raced in. I knew that would happen (better that Mother Nature gets this out of her evil system before the Ironman though!). We get to transition around 7:30. Still no clue what time we're starting. I went to a worker and asked them for start times - her answer, "we don't know yet... you'll probably race sometime between 9:15 and 9:30". I love definite answers! We racked our bikes, covered them in a towel, didn't put any of our stuff out and went to the car. Around 8:15, it had stopped raining so we were able to properly set up our transitions. Around 8:45, they announced that they'd be starting the race soon (again, such definite answers). Tom and I decided to get in the water (because it was warmer than the air). Of course when we got out, we froze. I mean straight up shivering. I'm so not ready for fall. Anyway, we still had about 12 waves until we went. We stood around and talked to my mom and dad, tried to keep warm, etc.

The swim - all of the half girls went together. That's the way it always is. There were only 28 of us. The wind had picked up significantly (although it had stopped raining) so the water was fairly choppy. I felt good through the swim. Had someone on my toes the entire time which made me laugh - if they knew they were drafting off someone so slow, they probably wouldn't have picked me right off the bat. Oh well. I finished in 42:12, including the run to transition. I was happy - I think that was a PR for me. T1 was slow as I decided to put on sleeves which I think might have been my smartest move for the day.

The bike - the course is 3 laps. I've biked the single loop a total of 13 times since I've been a triathlete. I know it like the back of my hand. That's a good thing and a bad thing. :) First lap wasn't bad. Second lap gets a little windier and a little tougher. By the third lap, I wasn't having so much fun anymore. The tail wind was lovely, but the headwind just took everything out of my sails. Plus the course is uber boring - cornfields upon cornfields. That's it! I played cat and mouse with this one guy all day. With about 5 miles left, I passed him. He said "go get 'em big girl". Okay, so I know he meant well, but really? That's the only compliment you could give me as I chicked you? I ended up finishing the bike in 3:06:50.

The run - I knew the run would be slow. The bike had zapped me. My goal... run. Just run. Hell, jog, who am I kidding. I don't know what happened to the days of 1:51 half marathons, but I just wasn't having it. During the first lap I stopped to use the port-o-john. I drank the brown water at the water stations. I talked to my mom and dad. I had a lot of time to think about the Ironman. I thought about the fact that there's no way I could double the distance. The next thought was of how I could double the distance and will (you know what Ironman training can do to your thought process...) The next thing I knew, I was finishing! I ran a 2:08 half which was really slow, but finished in 6:01:55. Good enough for 2nd in my age group! :) Can't complain about that! And Tom kicked ass (as always) and took home 1st in his age group so it was a good day for the Kingerys.

Oh, and a funny thing. After the race I was talking to a group of three ladies in pink TEAM MILTF shirts. They did a relay and I saw them throughout the entire day. One of the girls who I saw on the run says to me "did you do the whole race by yourself?". I kind of laughed and said yes. She asked if this was my first. When I told her no, and that I was actually training for my second Ironman, all three girls squealed and proceeded to call me a Goddess. It was so funny and totally canceled out being called a big girl by the douche bag on the bike.

Thank you ladies... you made my day!

Monday, September 28, 2009

zip lining

I will write a post on the race yesterday when I have a chance (it went well...). First, I want to share some pictures from zip lining. We went for a 3 hour zip line adventure near Hocking Hills this past Friday. My mom had bought my dad a gift card for his birthday last year and we decided to come crash the party! It was a blast!!! We went on 10 "zips", 4 bridges and then were supposed to repel at the end, but all did a leap of faith and just jumped off the platform, putting our lives in the hands of our trusty guides. It was so fun! I definitely recommend it to anyone who has some free time and $70 sitting around!
Tom and I all harnessed and ready to go:
My cutie-patootie husband:
Tom and I mid bridge:
My mom and dad mid bridge:
One of our guides took my camera and went down one of the lines with the camera on video. This is a great birdseye view of what we saw all day:

video

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Something ain't right...

So last week when I smashed my finger in the door at Macy's (shopping injuries... I tell ya!) I knew it hurt like a beotch. Immediately swelled, was bleeding, I almost passed out. You know... typical of smashing your finger in the door. I knew it wasn't broken 'cause I could bend it... kind of. It looks like something that should be attached to the staypuff marshmallow man, not dainty little me (ha, I'm kidding... really). Here I am a week later and it looks like a freaking sausage. Look at that thing... it's not right I tell ya! I finally called the doctor today because it's not getting any smaller. They can't get me in until next week. I have a feeling that it's infected or something. I've been cleaning the tiny cut, today started soaking it in Epsom salt. I've iced it. Some thing's just not right!

Hopefully they don't have to amputate it! :)

We spent the day at the county fair today. I love small town fairs. We have a huge horse race every year called the Little Brown Jug and we just scored tickets in a box for the running of it tomorrow. Today we walked the barns (all the local kids raise and show their animals), we wandered through the food vendors wondering who the hell would eat that crap (I mean, they can fry just about anything these days - we splurged by splitting a soft pretzel), then enjoyed the people watching (oh wow... it was a sight which included all the people eating all the fried goodness!). Ahhh... small farming town. I love it!
Training is moving right along. I'm slightly petrified that we have 6 weeks left, although quietly confident that I'll at least finish if nothing else. I guess I shouldn't jinx myself. Did back to back 10 milers the last two days and my legs felt great. I am definitely showing signed of Ironman training though - slower runs and lots of sleep, but I feel good. Hope that Sunday is a good race day for us both! I think it's supposed to rain which figures... that's the only condition I haven't raced in. Maybe it'll scare my competitors off! :)
One last thing... today is my dog's 9th birthday. He's super spoiled and yes, we celebrate his birthday. And tomorrow is Tom's 34th birthday! :) He keeps telling me that he feels old. Old??? You haven't even peaked yet my dear! HIs mom's card cracked me up though - it said: "Happiness is like peeing your pants. Everyone can see it, but only you can feel its warmth." I'll keep that in mind on Sunday! Happy birthday to my two favorite boys!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Super behind

And too tired to really catch up... :( I'll try -

My trip to West Palm Beach was awesome... except for smashing my finger in the door (shopping injuries are a bitch!) and falling during my run which caused me to have two bloody knees, a bloody chin, a bloody hand and a middle finger that looks like it should be on the stay puff marshmallow man (well the finger is actually from the door smashing, but you get the point). :) Luck was not on my side at the beginning of last week and I swore that someone was doing voodoo on me. Poor Rhiannon probably thought that I was the biggest klutz in the entire world! I'm slowly getting back into things and my walking is getting better. I look like I'm 90 years old - my knees are killing me! :) I'm such a wuss.

Training is going... did a 102 mile ride yesterday alone and felt great. It was one of those days that if boredom didn't take over, I probably could have kept biking. Just me and the road. :) I was happy. We were supposed to run 17 today, but with these knees all cut up, it's tough. Not to mention my body was screaming for sleep - 9.5+ hours last night, a 2+ hour nap during the day today and right now I'm fighting to keep my eyes open.

This weekend we're racing again and I'm super excited. The Toyota Challenge 1/2 IM is a race that we do annually. Two years ago it was 95 degrees and I finished in like 6:50. Last year we got hit with a hurricane (yup... in Ohio) and I finished in 6:55. I'm hoping that this year will be a little nicer to me. I'd love to go sub 6 again this year, but we'll see. We're renting a cabin though at the state park with my mom and dad which will be a ton of fun. And we're going zip lining on Friday with them in Southern Ohio! :) Should be a nice treat for Tom's birthday which is this Thursday.

Hope to get caught up with every one's blogs this week. I feel like I'm so out of the loop! :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

And so it begins

I know I've been in Ironman training since, well, November 3rd of last year, but maybe I was in denial. My workouts were more of "what feels good today" kind of days. I sometimes based my workouts on what I had eaten earlier ("Oh, I ate 4 cookies, I better run a little longer"). You get the picture.

Now it's on for real. No "what do I feel like doing today" workouts. The Ironman is only 52 days away. There's no playing around now.

This weekend I went out for 70 by myself. Biking alone is so boring. I take that back - the first 35 or 40 miles isn't bad. There's enough running through this little head of mine that I can keep occupied, but then I run out of things to think about. I literally try to think of things and can't come up with anything. It's sad. :) Anyway, so Tom was away and I thought that I better get my 70 in alone since I'll be riding in the Ironman alone anyway. I waited until it warmed up enough to not need long sleeves (it's been chilly here) and probably started out around 10:30. It was nice - OSU was playing their first home game and I literally think that everyone who lived or drove on my first 35 mile loop was either at the game or already on their butts watching the pregame. The roads were empty, the winds were calm, the sun was out. It was awesome! I stopped home at 35 miles, filled my bottles with more Gatorade, called my mother-in-law to tell her I was on my way to her side of town and to meet me. I hoped back on and met her around mile 42. She decided to ride 18 with me for a speed workout (which I always think is funny - she's a good athlete and feels like she can get her speed workout in during the last 20 of my long ride). Anyway, my IT starts killing me, same old story. I struggle through the last 8 miles alone and make it back home. Glad it's over, but happy to check it off my weekend plans.

Sunday Tom comes home and we're supposed to run 12 miles. That doesn't happen. I'm just sayin'...

Monday we decide to run 14 as punishment for not getting in the 12 we were supposed to do on Sunday. (Actually, it wasn't punishment, but more along the lines of we both are starting to freak that we're a little behind and have run three 13.1 mile runs in the last month and maybe need to up the distance so that next week's 17 doesn't bite us in the behind). I gained one thing from the run - the realization that I'm slow. :) Slow and steady does the trick right? I just couldn't find my groove. When I was training for the Flying Pig in May, I easily ran 8:30's all the time - usually faster on shorter runs. Monday I couldn't get under 9:10 and by the end, ended up with 9:30 average. I'm not too surprised, but still a little disappointed.

We ran 7 last night. I felt like I was flying. Once my legs realized that I wasn't kidding and they really did need to keep moving, I just felt fluid. I love that feeling. I still only managed 9:11's, but after 14 the day before, I'll take it. And I didn't feel like shit - that's the true sign that I'm fine with the pace!

This weekend we're running long and riding long, possibly in Hocking Hills. My main concern is that I'm not geared for the ride... I'm a flatlander as my cousin has called me. We'll see. Guess it'll make Florida seem downhill the whole time! HA!

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Other randoms -
  • My really good friends Tracy and Jim are racing this weekend in Australia for the US team at the Olympic tri worlds. They are absolutely amazing and awe inspiring. I couldn't be more proud to know them, and to have them representing our country this weekend! GO USA!!!
  • I leave in 5 days for West Palm Beach with my bestie, Rhiannon. I'm so super excited. Things have been, ahem, stressful around the Kingery house lately and I'm glad to just get away for a few days. We have some fun things planned - shopping, a couples massage (how freaking funny is that???), beach time, I'm sure some bottles of wine, etc. Should be a good get away!
  • Tom is thinking of doing the Las Vegas marathon in early December with his mom. Yeah, exactly a month after the Ironman. Oh, and she'll use it to qualify for Boston. He asked if I would be interested. I think he was serious, but I couldn't tell. HA! At least I'll get a fun vacation out of it if he decides to go through with it. I'll be happy to do the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving. If I'm running by then, that's good enough progress for me!
  • My event, High Heels and High Hopes is October 1st. The last I heard, we had 220+ people coming. And I wonder why I'm stressed. It's so good to give back, but wowzers, just a huge amount of work. And I'm not even doing most of it!!! :)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Girl's night

I'm super excited for some time with my girlfriends tonight - not all of them, but some of them! :) I've been needing this time. A little shopping. A little Mexican food. Maybe a margarita or two. Sounds like the perfect night to me.

It's always so quiet when Tom's gone. I get a craptastic amount of stuff done during the day which is good, but at night, when I finally settle down for dinner and relaxation, it gets kind of lonely. I wonder if I would ever make it alone. Not that I have any plans to not be married to my wonderful husband for eternity, but without him, I'd be amazingly lost. And bored. :)

Training's going well. I'm beat - shocker right? I mean, IMFL is only 9 weeks, 1 day, 19 hours, 40 minutes and come change away (who'd counting though). I guess I should be exhausted.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I know...

It's been yet another week without an update. And it's already September. I'm busy, what can I say.
This past weekend we were in Chicago for the Chicago Triathlon. Team Type 1 was racing so Tom and I made the trek in on Friday. Although the trip should have taken us 5.5 hours, we got there a little more than 8 hours after leaving. I'm usually good with directions and well, I missed a crucial turn. I was so freaking pissed. We had tickets to see Tony Bennett with some of Tom's teammates and I had such a horrible day that we canceled. I felt bad, but I was in no mood to socialize (and poor Tom - I blamed him when it was clearly my fault - such a wife move!). We grabbed some dinner and just got settled in. Saturday, we met up with everyone, walked through the expo, got all the team checked in, and had a great dinner at Club Lucky. It was up and out early on Sunday - Transition closed at 5:45, but the first of Team Type 1 wasn't racing until nearly 8. I think most of the guys checked their gear and went back to bed. Tom, of course was in the first group of his teammates racing so we quickly ran back to the hotel, changed and ate and went back to the swim. It was a gorgeous day (albeit cool and windy) and the team did awesome! Congrats Tom, Matt, Bradford, Bobby, Ryan, Laura and Kevin. You all did amazing and I'm so glad that I finally got to meet all of you!!!
This is before the swim start of Tom and Matt's wave:
Matt had a cake made for the after race BBQ!
And I have to tell you, I've never met a more amazingly well meshed group of people. These guys and girls come from all over, but they all get along so well. I know that they have common interested - triathlon, diabetes, helping others - but more than that, they are all the most relaxed, easy going people. They were tons of fun to hang out with, I laughed a lot and I hope that I can get to more races next year (although I'll have to admit, sherpa duty for 7 people wasn't easy and I would much rather have been racing - such a true competitor!)

We got home last night and Tom had a flight this morning at 7am. He'll be in Orlando for the next 6 days which leaves me to pick up the pieces of us being gone for a few days, as well as training alone. This is the last week before Hell Week 1 of training. Luckily I have a trip to West Palm lingering in the near future!!!

Quick shout out to a few blogger friends who did amazing Sunday at IMKY
  1. Ryan is kick ass. That's all I can say. He finished in 9:38, 2nd fastest amateur bike split, 9th amateur overall and 28th finisher overall. Earned his spot in Kona and totally deserves it! Great job Ryan!!!
  2. Judi is an IRONMAN!!! In her first (although I'm sure not last) IM, she did amazing! Finishing in 14:21 with a huge smile on her face! I am so proud of you Judi!!!
  3. Amanda is unbelievable and I'm in awe of her abilities. She recently qualified for Worlds in Australia and rocked a 48 minute PR with a finish time of 11:22.

Great job to everyone who raced this past weekend!

Monday, August 24, 2009

It all came together...

Finally, things worked out in my favor this weekend! Finally Mother Nature was kind to me. And like the title says, finally it all came together!

In the past I've had horrible luck with half ironman distance races. Honestly, I've done three and they were all a million times worse for me that the full Ironman. I had raced two in temperatures over 95 degrees and the third was a total fluke in which we had 60+ mile an hour winds from a hurricane and I was bracing myself to be blown away at any time. I feared that I was destined to have horrible races at this distance for the rest of my life! :)

Saturday we made our way to Springfield. The weather forecasts said sunny and 74 which would be dreamy for me. It was raining and cold on Saturday... I'd even take that for race day. Got our packets, checked out the course (which I'd already raced last year in the 95+ degree weather) and decided no need for a practice swim. We went to our hotel, got the bikes and gear ready, filled our bellies and made it to bed around 10:30. I got a great night's sleep, but had amazing doubts about my abilities during the race. Training has been going well, but not stellar - minor injuries here and there, tons of self doubt. I just didn't know what to expect.

Got to the race site a little later than usual, but because my wave was the second to last, I didn't feel rushed. It was chilly... and cloudy. I knew it was PR material, but for some reason I was scared. I've done these distances alone a bazillion times and have put it all together more than three times. I knew I'd be fine, but the tears still managed to make their way to my eyes before the start. Damn nerves! Tom hugged me, kissed me and was off. I had another two waves of nerves.

The Swim - My waves wasn't huge, but I positioned myself where I always do - in the back. I have no confidence in the swim. The horn sounded and I gradually made my way in. A group of girls took off, I passed a few people and quickly found empty water. No nerves! I felt great, the water was a bit choppy but not bad. I started counting strokes in hopes that my mind wouldn't start thinking about how long the swim was or how much I still had to do. I felt consistent and calm. It was going to be a long day and my goal was to just not get ahead of myself. Got out of the water and my watch read 46:30 and I still had a big hill to run. I was happy with that. I'm not a fast swimmer, but I stay calm. Hit the mat at 48:04.

T1 - It was nice seeing bikes still in T1. I feel like mine is usually alone. There were probably 5 girls in transition with me so I didn't feel completely behind. I did my thing and was out in 1:30. I wish there were more transitions in races because I kind of feel like I have that part of the race down pat! :)

The Bike - I've been having IT problems the last few rides and I know it really flares up on the hills. Of course this bike course is two HILLY loops. I told Tom that I wouldn't be pushing it on the bike - spinning up the hills even if I felt like I could grind a little bit and saving my legs for the run. The first loop was fine. It seemed to go on forever, although it was spot on in terms of distance I passed a few people right away and then kind of just felt like I was alone. I played cat and mouse with a girl for a while. She was small and could climb the hills and then I'd usually catch her on the flats. We did this until the turn around and then she stopped to pee and I didn't see her again until the run. I didn't really look at my time or speed. I just did what felt good. I played the gear game - up and down constantly. I made sure that every gear got used! :) I felt pretty good on the bike, but my IT did start hurting around mile 35. Nothing horrible, but just an achy annoying pain. I felt like the breeze had picked up and definitely struggled to keep a constant pace the second lap. I wanted to finish under 3:05 and came in at 3:00:49! I averaged 18.6 which was awesome considering I definitely didn't "race" the bike at all!

T2 - I took my time in T2. I wanted to have a good run and make sure that my socks were right and everything. I still managed to be in and out in 1:40!

The Run - I can never put a good run together in a half. Never. Each year I've been around 4 hours coming off the swim and bike and I just blow up. I train at sub 9:00 miles. I've always ended up with 12:30+ minute miles in my halves. I don't know if it's mental or the weather or what. My mind was right for this. I immediately turned my watch from Chrono mode to just the clock. I didn't want to be fixated with my mile splits and how much time I had to get a PR. I just wanted to run. Right out of the gate I passed two guys who looked like they were having good days. I took little steps and just smiled. I felt good. I was running a pace I thought I could maintain forever. It wasn't fast, but it was comfortable. I kept thinking that I was going to PR and that got me through each mile. I saw Tom and he looked awesome. I passed a few girls, maybe a few guys. I was settled in for the long haul. At the turn around, I checked my watch and saw that I had 1:15 to go 6.55 miles and that would give me a sub 6. I was aiming for a 6:15. I saw Tom again with 1 mile left for him. He told me he was going to go 5:16 or so - that would be a 19 minute PR. I was so excited for him. The miles just ticked away - no leg pain, no negative thoughts. The last mile seemed to go on forever. I switched my watch back to chrono mode and new I was going sub 6. I was ecstatic! Run time was 2:04:11 - a 9:29 pace.

As I came to the finish line, they said "There's a big smile, that's what we like to see" and announced my name. I looked for Tom and he wasn't there. I crossed, gave them my chip, got some food and still no Tom. Hum... immediately thought he was having sugar issues. I started walking toward transition and he came running up to me (well not running, but kind of jogging). He had gone to the car to get the camera and thought for sure he had enough time. He expected me at 6:15. I crossed at 5:56! I was so excited. I crushed my old PR by 45 minutes. I felt good after a half. Not great, but definitely not like death! :)

We waited for awards. Tom in fact PRed by 19 minutes and finished in 5:16. He amazes me! He got 2nd in his division. I knew I had been passed by 2 girls on the run in my AG. I ended up getting 3rd in my age group. We both got hardware, we both got HUGE PRs. But the best thing I got from the race was the confidence that I thought I had lost this season.

Results:
Swim (1.2 miles) - 48:04
T1 - 1:30
Bike (56 miles) - 3:00:49 18.6mph and 7th woman out of 26
T2 - 1:40
Run (13.1 miles) - 2:04:11 9:29 pace
5:56:13 - 3/6 in AG

Oh it's on like donkey kong now! :)
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