Friday, October 1, 2010

Something Old, Something New....

Seriously, I think I may be marrying Mighty Man this weekend. And I don't even like him! Or the thought of him anyway...

I have something old: me. Something new: goggles, cold weather swim cap. Something borrowed: actually lots borrowed - awesome race wheels and a sweet aerobar water bottle from Patty, sperm helmet from Annnnn, bike shoes from Scott because mine are falling apart, nutrition from MightyB. And something blue: Annn's sperm helmet. Slap a garter and a veil on me and I'm ready!!!

But am I ready for the actual event? That remains to be seen. I know nerves and doubt in your training plan are common - but I really didn't have an official training plan. I took three training plans, picked the elements I liked (such as only swimming twice a week) and made up a plan that fit into my life.

I did have some good confidence building bricks in September. Three weeks ago, my sweet friend Victoria offered to meet me really early on Sat morning so I could get my whole workout done in one shot instead of having to break it up throughout the day. She sat in her car reading in the dark while I looped WC for 25 miles on my bike, and then she and another friend Peggy walked loops at WC while I ran 10 miles.

The following week, I did the Heart of Va bike event. Richard, Ed, Deanna, and a guy they met at the event rode 38 miles on Saturday at a pretty easy pace. I was going to run right after but was lured in by the Buzz and Ned's BBQ and ice cream that RABA had afterwards, so I ate like a pig, went home, digested a bit, and then ran six miles. I had one of my fastest runs ever for that distance (8:50 min/mi). Sunday loomed big and scary with a "long metric" that started in Ashland and looped up to Lake Anna. Richard, Deanna and I started out fairly easy, considering that we hit the Three Sisters at about mile 4, and took full advantage of the course support to fuel and rest. Then poor Richard broke a spoke and his wheel locked up at about mile 45. He called the sag wagon to pick him up, and I have to say he didn't seem very disappointed. Deanna and I continued on, and not surprisingly with just the two of us, proceeded to get lost. We got directions to get back on course and then decided to skip Horseshoe Hill to cut a few miles off the route. We still ended up with 76.5 miles. I was tired but not dead so I'm taking that as a positive sign.

I took the Monday after HoV as a much-needed rest day, and then I went out for my longest run of the season on Tuesday - 12 miles around my neighborhood. I took my three regular runs and strung them together! Between miles 6 and 8 I was sick of running and wanted to stop, but then I got a second wind and finished strong between miles 10 and 12. Given that I'm planning to walk Murder Hill BOTH TIMES I see it, I won't be running more than 12 miles in the actual event, so I'm hoping that will be enough.

And then last weekend, Victoria met me for another early morning brick. I guess I was starting to taper because I rode 28 miles (so sweet with the Zipps on my bike!) and ran 6. My runs are definitely faster on the bricks - must be something to a warm up. I hit 8:47 min/mi and could have easily kept going if I had to.

Sunday, I invited myself up to Jennifer's to practice open water swimming and try on two wetsuit options. She gave me some cold water swim tips and form advice, and helped me decide which wetsuit to use. This is the part that is scaring me the most. I hate getting in cold water and don't like swimming in murk. I'll be very happy when the swim is over. In fact, I may not swim again - ever.

Monday morning, I woke up with sore triceps and shoulders. Oh man! If I hurt after the paltry amount of swimming I did in a wetsuit the day before, I'm going to be toast after MM! But then I remembered taking a couple jumps off the rope swing, holding the whole bulk of my body weight with my arms, and felt a little better.

So, training (such as it is) is in the bank. In a few short days, we'll see where it gets me.

And as to marrying MM? I'm really leaning much more towards a one time fling.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Another Summer, Another Awesome Vacation

We just got home from another fantastic vacation week in the Hamptons with Jill and Andy.

We left really early last Saturday morning and arrived in Bridgehampton at lunchtime. Their kids had a big welcome sign on the front door with a note that said "You will have the party of your lifetime!" Big promises, big expectation - and big delivery!

The weather was absolutely stunning the entire week - probably the clearest and hottest week we've ever had, other than Friday when hurricane Earl blew off the coast and made it rain all day.

The first night, some friends Roger, Judianne and Steve came over for drinks and dinner. We scare them so they were drinking a lot of water in the name of self protection. As usual, Jill and I had marinated a batch of fruit in alcohol the second we arrived so we could have our favorite Blackbirds! Yum!

We had our usual great meals, this time including filet mignon on blue cheese toast points, crab cakes, and shrimp with two sauces. We also went out to dinner at Nick and Toni's one night and shared a variety of appetizers and pasta dishes. My favorite was an eggplant pasta.

Andy had been telling his kids he was going to book surfing lessons all summer, and with our arrival he came through. He took the four older kids out one morning and bought them short wet suits and then took them to a private lesson that afternoon. They practiced briefly on the beach and then they hit the water and hit the waves! They all did really well, especially Taz. They surfed one more day in a group lesson but then with Earl looming, the waves got too crazy. They could barely stand in the waves on the beach without getting knocked down!

My training stayed reasonably on track, I guess. On Sunday I ran a 10 mile loop to meet everyone at the beach. My right hamstring started bothering me as soon as I started running. It felt better once I got warmed up but then hurt a bit for the rest of the week.

Scouter took his bike so I wouldn't have to ride alone, so on Monday, we rode 16 miles together and then I added some to total 22. Tuesday, I decided to skip my run to give my hammie some rest and just swam for 45 minutes in their pool. Jill had tunes cranking which made it much more fun. Wednesday, Scouter and I biked again. This time I took him out on some main roads and we biked to Sag Harbor and back. He ditched me for some quieter streets and I kept going to total 21 miles.

Thursday, I ran five miles and swam for another 45 minutes. Friday - thank goodness, a rest day. But the rest day made me lazy! I really didn't want to do my workout on Sat. I procrastinated until almost 1:00 and then finally went out for a solo bike ride. The first part of the loop I made up was pretty cool, but then I had a 10 mile stretch on a busy road into an evil head wind. I was very frustrated and wondering if I have similar conditions on race day, would I be able to keep going? Then I missed my turn and just as I was thinking this was one of the worst bike rides of my life, I ran over glass. Thank goodness I didn't have a flat, but I was totally expecting it. I finally stopped, checked my map and GPS, and got back on my planned route. I was supposed to ride 26 miles and ended up riding 34.

After my horrible bike ride, I went out for an equally heinous, hilly run. My training plan called for 16 miles which I had no intention to do, but I did plan to do 8. However, after having really bad nutrition that day and an even worse mental state, I ended up walk running 6 miles and then stopping. I'm blaming a week of martinis and limited sleep!

The last night, we celebrated Rainbow's 9th birthday! She picked the menu of filet mignon, corn, strawberries, and chocolate ice cream cake. The kids had plain filet; the adults had ours with fig sauce and grilled figs. Delicious!

Rainbow opened some presents last night and then the rest this morning, and then the poor baby spent most of the day in the car driving home. She was a trooper. We celebrated her actual birthday with Arby's and another ice cream cake when we finally got home at 7 p.m.

Now we're partially unpacked, and I'm hoping for a better bike ride tomorrow morning after 36 hours of drying out. We'll see how it goes...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


... that's all I can really say.

My brick this week is 60-70 miles cycling followed by 6 miles running.

I might die before I ever get to the race.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mighty Brick

I feel kind of like Robin - "Holy Brick, Batman!"

Finally this week I did a brick workout following... wait for it.... a rest day! What a difference! Not that I felt great, mind you, but I didn't feel like I was going to die. This was my third brick so perhaps that had something to do with it as well.

Saturday morning, Georgia, Richard and Patty met me bright and early for a 30 mile bike ride. Georgia was in charge of route planning and she picked a tough one! We did an out and back that had us on Millers and Shallow Well both ways for some good rolling hill action. My average speed wasn't stellar but I got it done.

Then Patty kindly ran with me! We did a slow six mile loop through West Creek. Again, nothing speedy, but the miles are in the bank. At the end, I felt like I could have kept going if I had to. Really I did have to, since my training plan called for 12, but I had only planned to do six so mentally I was done.

This week, I really tried to work on my nutrition and I think it went pretty well. I never felt hungry or thirsty, even at the very end. I am usually starving coming out of the swim though so I will be at more of a nutritional deficit in the actual race.

My kids wanted to go to the pool Saturday afternoon, and after a shower and some rest, I finally agreed. It was crowded and we hung out for awhile. Then when the crowd thinned, I got some mojo and swam laps. I was interrupted a few times including a big break to chat with a friend but ended up swimming 1600.

So I can do all three events in a day... if I could cut the course in half and have 12 hours to do it, I would be fine!

But as Susie says, there is still time....

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


So, I am in a bit of a quandry.

I can't decide whether I should do an aqua-velo for the half iron I foolishly signed up for, or suck it up and do the whole thing even though I will be walking a good portion of the run. Another option is to have my friend Susan run for me as a relay, which she has agreed to do - even though she strongly encourages me to do it myself.

My training has been lame. Running has probably been the worst, as I injured my back in April and couldn't run again until the end of July. According to my training plan, my longest run to date should be 16 miles. It is 7 1/2. I don't want to build up too fast and hurt myself even worse, or hurt something else.

Almost as bad has been my swim training, mainly because it is my least favorite. Especially since I have to do it at my local community pool. Typically, I have to fight with multiple people for the one paltry little lap lane, and then get jumped on by kids. The worst was when an entire boy scout troop overtook the lane with no notice while I was in it. I discovered their presence when one dove directly into my side. Good times, good times. I didn't start swimming until a few weeks ago, and at best have swum twice in one week. Usually I make it once, and then either laziness or lightening takes me down for the second scheduled swim.

The bike is... well, the bike. I love it. I'm good riding 56 miles, I think, even though my actual longest ride has been 52.

Perhaps the final relevant point is that this is too much race for me. I doubt that I will ever sign up for this distance again. That goes both ways - do it because this is it... or skip the run because this is just too much race.

I ask you my friends: what would you do if you were me?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Mighty Week

This past week was insane for me. I'd like to think I can maintain - dare I say even build upon it? But I think we all know me better than that. Anyway...

Last Saturday, I wanted to do a long ride. Even though the forecast was for 105 degrees (and I'm not even kidding), Dave, Patty and I got an early start and rode 52 miles, 17.5 average speed. We hit quite a few rolling hills and I felt pretty good until the last 10 or so miles. Then I started getting chills and had no legs left. When I finally got home, I ate everything in sight, took a shower, and crashed on the couch for a couple hours. And then I went to watch Taz and his All Stars team win their 9 year old baseball tournament! Woo hoo!!!! And then we all went out with the team and drank way too much. His coach even made me do a tequila shot which even if I hadn't been dehydrated would have been a very bad idea.

But I digress...

Sunday was equally hot and I was not quite as energetic as I had been the day before. Oddly, I had a bit of a headache. So the kids and I hit the pool. I swam 1600 meters with only a few interruptions from the kids.

Monday, Dave and I biked 20. We both complained of tired legs but still managed a respectable 18.1 pace. That boy is amazing. And he is determined to make me better on hills. I keep telling myself that what doesn't kill me will make me stronger.

I had to run Tuesday to report back to the voodoo doctor I'm seeing now for my back at my appointment that afternoon, so I forced myself out of bed and ran four miles. Physically, I felt pretty good. Mentally, I was not into it at all. Wil (the vodoo doctor aka therapeutic massage/alternative medicine dude) beat the crap out of me that afternoon and hopefully fixed more stuff. He is fantastic. Especially if you are into pain. (Check him out at

My Wednesday morning bike posse met as usual at 5:45 a.m. I had asked everyone to please be on time because my schedule was very tight that morning. Dave took that as license to ride - and push me - as hard as possible. We did 16 miles at a 19.7 mph pace! Dave's Garmin said 20 mph but he was as always a little faster than me so I'm sticking with my stat. And I would never have even done that if I hadn't glued myself to Robert's wheel for much of the ride. It was a good start to the day!

Thursday I ran again, this time 4.5 miles. I still felt a little sore from my beating Tuesday but I am able to run again without pain! Very exciting. I had planned to swim Thurs night but a very major late afternoon thunderstorm threatened my good intentions. The kids and I finally headed to the pool around 7:15 and were surprised to find it open. Guess I had to swim then... They played while I swam an uninterrupted (until the very end) 2000 meters - my longest swim literally in years. I did it without stopping to prove to myself that I can live through 1.2 miles of the half. To simulate race conditions, I interjected some breastroke into my set.

Friday was supposed to be my rest day, but since we were going out of town that night, I wanted to get at least some of my Sat brick. Deanna rode River Road with me - 22 miles at 18.1 mph average. I should have gone further, and I should have run a little bit afterwards, but I had to be home early than I anticipated so that was it.

Still, 110 miles of biking, 8.5 miles of running, and 3600 meters of swimming in one week is damn good for me.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Losing It

I love my Wednesday morning bike rides.

Sometimes they don't love me.

Take last week for example. We took off at our usual brisk pace and a few miles in, we hit the first set of railroad tracks. I heard a clink but thought nothing of it.

Fortunately, Dave did. He turned back and checked out the tracks while I nonchalantly waited with the group. A few seconds later, he returned - with my car key! Yikes! That could have been ugly. Perhaps I need a safer storage location.

We charged through the rest of the ride. Patty was on fire and I was hanging on her wheel. We had great fun and finished in the low 18 mph range. Yes!

I chatted for a few minutes and then realized that I needed to get my butt home - said goodbye to the crew and zipped off in my car.

When I got home, I discovered my bike helmet dangling from the tire of my bike which was (fortunately) securely attached to my car. Somehow my gloves were still in the helmet. I felt very lucky.

It was only later that I realized my sunglasses had also been in my helmet. Damn. But all in all, I still felt lucky.

And then, Kathryn brought me my sunglasses! They had fallen and were a little scratched but really not too bad.

As much as I tried to lose it, my friends were there to help me out. Thanks, guys!!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Mommy of the Year

Here are the results of an interview with my children:

1. What is something mama always says to you?
Rainbow: I love you
Taz: I love you

2. What makes mama happy?
Rainbow: When I snuggle with her
Taz: Snuggling

3. What makes mama sad?
Rainbow: When I get hurt
Taz: Us not kissing her or arguing

4. How does your mom make you laugh?
Rainbow: By tickling me
Taz: You tickle me under my chin

5. What was your mom like as a child?
Rainbow: She looked like me
Taz: I don’t know… rotten, I’m guessing . Got in trouble a lot.

6. How old is your mom?
Rainbow: I know this… 42!
Taz: 42, 3?

7. How tall is your mom?
Rainbow: About four feet I think
Taz: Five six

8. What is her favorite thing to do?
Rainbow: Snuggle
Taz: Sleep, snuggle

9. What does your mom do when you aren't around?
Rainbow: Read or sleep
Taz: Cry

10. If your mom became famous, what would she be famous for?
Rainbow: Cooking
Taz: (long pause) You???? I don’t know

11. What is your mom really good at?
Rainbow: Sleeping
Taz: Reading

12. What is your mom not very good at?
Rainbow: Not burning herself when she cooks
Taz: Being mean

13. What does your mom do for her job?
Rainbow: Work
Taz: CEO

14. What is your mom's favorite food?
Rainbow: Chinese
Taz: Choiboni

15. What makes you proud of your mom?
Rainbow: She pays attention to me
Taz: That you have enough money to afford two houses

16. If mom were a cartoon character, which would she be?
Rainbow: Bugs Bunny because she would look funny
Taz: A hot woman

17. What do you and your mom do together?
Rainbow: Shop
Taz: Eat and snuggle and watch movies

18. How are you and your mom the same?
Rainbow: We like to shop
Taz: Eyes and personalities

19. How are you and your mom different?
Rainbow: She snores and I don’t
Taz: You don’t really like things flashing in your face and I don’t really care

20. How do you know your mom loves you?
Rainbow: Because she pays attention to me
Taz: Because you say it over and over and over and over

21. Where is your mom’s favorite place to go?
Rainbow: Nordstrom
Taz: My room

21. What does your mom like most about your dad?
Rainbow: His funniness
Taz: Oh gosh! Ahhhh…. ?

23. What’s mom's favorite color?
Rainbow: Pink
Taz: Green

24. When did your mom and dad get married?
Rainbow: like 40 years ago
Taz: When they were 20?

25. What color is Moms hair?
Rainbow: like a brownish color
Taz: Well you dye it, so…. It’s brown

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Calling MightyB out for the Sandbagger that she is

I've been riding with MightyB for a few years. She likes to hang at the back of the pack and never ever lead it. On the rare occasion that she does end up in front, she blasts ahead of everyone else unintentionally. And when the group includes other fast people, she is right there hanging with them. So I know she is a superstar in sandbagger clothing.

But she really brought home how good she is on Thursday night.

The two of us met at West Creek to take advantage of gorgeous weather and do the Goochland loop. For the first few minutes, we were warming up and chatting. And then we hit the first hill. MightyB pulled away from me like I was standing still. When I finally caught her, she mentioned casually that she was working on hills. Hmmm, I think maybe she's got it...

We hit the gates at CapOne soon after. I blasted through while MB went through them more cautiously, giving me a rare opportunity to ride ahead. I giggled as I pulled out an ill-gotten lead. Mere moments later, however, MB caught me.

On the next hill, we passed a tricked-out solo cyclist. As we passed him, he told me to catch MB. As if. I laughed.

He passed me back on the next hill and told me again to get moving and catch her. He rode on and we did a slightly different route. Soon, though, he was passing me again. At this point, MB was well ahead of me. Conte dude (he had a lot more sponsors on his jersey, but to be honest this is the main one I saw - not because it was the most prominent but because it was on his ass) told me to grab his wheel and he would help me catch up with her. I did and hung on. He caught her, waved me behind her, and zipped around.

And that's when he learned that I knew of which I spoke. She grabbed his wheel and the two of them were off to the races. Seriously, I had a sip of water and couldn't even see them again when I looked forward.

Again MB waited for me. We hit the half way point, turned around, and did it all again. In total we rode 26 miles.

Mighty B is a big sandbagger.

Just putting it out there.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Mighty Stupid

I am terrified about the Half Iron I foolishly registered for, just 14 short weeks away. Actually slightly less.

Seriously, when I signed up I had 22 weeks to train. And then I blinked.

Also during that time, I helped Scouter move a table. A thick, very heavy wooden table. Which was flipped over with the base on the ground, so we had to lift if from our feet. It was way too heavy for me. When I lifted it, I felt it in my lower back. Then we put it in the truck, took it back out, put it back on the ground to re-attach the legs, and flipped it. I felt every single move in my lower back.

But I didn't stop training. I kept running and biking. And sometimes, if I stretched really really well afterwards, I wasn't miserable.

And then a couple weeks ago, I biked on Saturday in aero the whole time. I stretched really well and felt pretty good afterwards. On Sunday, I woke up feeling a little stiff but not too bad. Until I bent over to put socks on, at which point my back complained loudly and tightened up. Not learning my lesson, I leaned over a few minutes later to pull paper out of the Dutch's mouth. Damn dog. My back really locked up.

Being the brilliant girl I am, I ran anyway thinking maybe it would loosen up.

My run was a death march. It was very hot and humid. I walked a little every half mile and kept thinking I was going to throw up. But on the bright side, my back felt okay.

Until I got home, at which point my back apparently decided that it was going to show me who's boss once and for all. It completely locked. I spent the next few hours on the couch with ice packs, chugging Advil.

That's when I finally realized that perhaps I needed to see a doctor. I made an appointment with Annnnnn and Jenbo's famous Dr. Z, a chiropractor I've been seeing 2-3 times a week since. He told me not to run until I am pain-free.

One would think that I would use this opportunity to swim, which Dr. Z repeatedly tells me is a great activity for back pain.

One would be wrong.