Lather – Wash – Rinse – Repeat

Lather – Wash – Rinse – Repeat
If it isn’t broken then why try to fix it, right? 10 months ago I was living this exact same day in Lake Placid, New York and I had one of the best races of my life. So what I did was try to do exactly what I did the day before that race. A simple schedule of no driving and sticking around the apartment and race site. It is so different here with very few women. So few women; that there is only one changing tent! Yes ladies, I get to go in the same tent with a bunch of fit triathlete men…(this is where the smile comes in). On the other hand, it is a good thing I wear the same thing from start to finish.
8:30 a.m. – breakfast and emails
9:30 a.m. – hit the water for a lap of the course
10:30 a.m. – bike a 35k
12:00 a.m. – run an easy 8k
noon to 3:00 – off the feet, rested, got my gear labeled, made sure I had everything and ate lunch
3:30 p.m. – gear drop off, ran into a friend, we walked the transition
5:00 p.m. – watched the Iron Kids Race
6:00 p.m – pizza and beer; that’s right, the non-drinker drank a beer. Following suit to last year, I drank a beer. I also slept really well the night before my race too!
7:30 p.m – in my place, turned on the music and packed my liquid lunch for tomorrow; while mixing my calories, I always mix for 6 hours, but decided in the end to mix 7 hours worth for the bike.
So uneventful…tomorrow. That will be the day with the story all is waiting for. Even I am excited to see how the story ends.
-someone needs to make temporary tattoos of the bike course profile. I saw a guy with a laminated one taped to the aerobars…and I was just gong to write it on my arm.
-the Euro’s go all out on their bikes, there are no jokes here!
-I noticed after transition was closed, there are two women who are not racing in my age group; and now there were 15.
I try to go over and over again some sort of strategy and I just can’t com up with one I am happy with. As of now; the swim will be brutal with only a few women in the field, so I think no matter how good I feel I will take a start toward the back. First half of the ride hold steady on the flats and hills, push the down and hold on for dear life up the final climb and descent. From there it is a non technical push for 40k with wind in your face typically. CAN’T WAIT FOR THE MARATHON at this point. 8:50 pace and should be able to easily hold as long as I don’t panic and go out too fast for the first half.
Swim: 1:20
Bike: 6:30-7:00
Run: 4:00
Just remember: It is going to be a long day
As scared as I am, I am as excited as a kid on Christmas waiting for his parents to get up he can open his presents.

After my morning swim and lunch for tomorrow is ready!


Do You Speak English? I’m Lost

Do You Speak English? I’m Lost.
I believe this is going to be my theme for the week. Already I have used this phrase countless times. I am having a difficult time with the roads not being marked well or even reading them at that! I never had this much of a problem anywhere I have ever driven and am starting to wonder why the lady at the car rental actually talked me out of renting the GPS. The Map; it is a marvelous tool, if you know how to use it. Luckily, growing up as a country girl there are two other things my Dad taught me (next to driving a manual) map reading and direction. I learned my north, south, east and west – and using my sense of direction has gotten me far on this little island; as long as I know where east is, I will make it back to my apartment. Learning how to read a map is priceless, but I will say, with modern technology, it is much easier having someone speaking directions to you, rather than pull over every fifteen to twenty kilometers to check your map, since driving and reading don’t go hand and hand very well.
But loosing my way has gained me many adventures. I got to have an amazing date tonight in what is one of the most romantic pieces of paradise I have ever seen with Myself. A hidden cove where the locals hang out. Around 6 pm the fresh evening baguettes are dropped off at the stores, so I picked one up, got an apple, Spanish cheese, almonds water and chocolate and had myself a picnic. Sitting there along the beach, the kids are playing, lovers snuggling, an old man swimming laps; this is a daily ritual for these people. I sat and enjoyed the people and the place, had a wonderful time with myself. After eating I decided to climb the volcanic rock that surrounded this little cove. Words and pictures cannot begin to paint the picture of this natural beauty. The water beneath is this dark clear blue, the reflection of the dark sand is something I’ve never seen off the coast of the US, Caribbean, Mexico or India. After my dinner, I continued to loose myself through the streets of Puerto del Carmen I got to see boys playing on their balcony with Super Soaker’s shooting unexpected passersby. It is amazing what you will see and find when you allow yourself to get lost.
As I took a dip in the water today for a lap around the course I swam into another fellow racer who is from the UK, taking on his second Ironman. After talking for awhile we found ourselves making a swim date for tomorrow morning, which I am looking forward to.
I also got the chance to hit the run course and do one full lap (since it is a three lap course, each lap getting shorter). I will be first to say, it is NOT flat like they say it is. However I will give credit to it seeming flat after everything you go through on the bike course. Small rollers, but they will feel bigger after 180km of biking leading up to and the wind could play a factor, as well as the lack of shade…which is none. As the days get closer I am getting more and more excited. Athletes from all over Europe are starting to arrive and no matter what language they speak, everyone speaks the language of “The Nod”.
The Nod is eye to eye, wordless acknowledgment and slight tip of the head form of communication that I have found all over the world with other athletes. I find you get The Nod more often when traveling overseas. Everyone here does it. No formal introduction needed, no handshakes required, just The Nod and you find yourself socially accepted.
As the evening comes to an end the smell of the salty sea air is exchanged for smells of local cooking. Rain starts to fall and I quickly run to the balcony to grab my drying clothes, now wet. I make a cup of tea and start to go over my pictures and find myself feeling so lucky that I have a life where I get to see all these things. It really is amazing what I have got to see throughout my life and can’t wait to see what else the world has to show me!

Lanzarote Computrainer Ride

Lanzarote Computrainer Ride

While the insanity still lingers, along with the salt stuck to my legs; I must express – I feel great!

I do not workout in the early hours of the morning, I guess that is a luxury I have with my job.  However, last night I convinced one of my clients that he should get up and do a 6:00 a.m. ride with me.  Not just because he really did need to get a ride in, but I needed someone to be held accountable to when I decided I needed to get my ride in as early as possible today.  Riding gear laid out, bike ready to go, mixes poured into my water bottles and just add water was all that was needed once I arrived at the studio (Train Chicago Studios).

5:03 a.m. alarm clock goes off, hit snooze for almost 30 minutes and hope out of bed and get to the studio.  6:07 – not bad for not being a workout morning person.  By 6:25 the ride had started and feeling very chatty and energized.  Thanks to my amazing assistant coach, Jean; the Ironman Lanzarote course was created and ready to be tackled.  (He is a Computrainer genius and brilliant IT guy, on top of that, being everything I am not; gentle, patient – in other words, compliments me quite well in bringing balance to my world).  In the first 20 miles you have already climbed 1950 ft.  Great, that means there are only 5100 more to climb and still with the steepest to come.  But this is where I actually got breathless a little, perhaps because of the condensed version of a warm-up, or maybe just because this course sucks the wind out of you!

2 bathroom breaks, 2 roll my hip flexors out, every 10 miles yelling at Jean I was entering another Aid Station and water was needed (he is so wonderful) and 4 hours and 34 minutes later I had completed 70 miles of the course!

What should be noted here is that is wasn’t the complete course, that is to be tackled this upcoming Thursday.  All the flats were taken out and only the hills were ridden.  I stopped counting how many hills went over 6% grade once I hit #8 and then started in the 9% grade climbs.  If I am correct, there were 4 of those and another 4 that exceeded over 7%.

Making notes:  bring climbing gears for my bike and see on the big summit if that cassette feels better.  This is a a strength course – cardio-wise, it was not a problem for me.  But I need to continue to focus on my strength through the legs for me to stay strong on the bike.  Lungs and legs both felt great coming off this workout.  Nutrition during and post workout felt spot on.  The last climb is longer than that at Lake Placid and The Big Nasty at Wildflower feels like a complete JOKE in comparison to what I just rode.

Cant’ wait!  I am feeling good and motivated.  It always takes a major defeat, like Abu Dhabi, to pull me in and get me ready for the Big One.  And I feel like I am finally starting to get there.