Friday, December 02, 2011

the aftermath and goals

OMG I did a MARATHON! I still can't believe it. That was such a HUGE obstacle in my head that I'm not sure I'll really believe it until I run one outside a triatlon. Yup, that's MY logic. It isn't real after 180km bike and 3.8 km swim, but done all by itself it would be real. Go figure.

I want to lose the flab I have on me - that will help much more than any toys, and work on an aero position on the bike. I want to make 30, 60, 90 (minutes) my "normal" ratio for weekly running (30min 3x, 60 min 2x and 90 min 1x) and I need to work on my swim. A 1:17 is just shameful especially on a "fast" course.

I got wicked sick afterwards (due no doubt to the norte that rolled in) and yesterday was so achy and feverish I didn't think I'd ever train again. Today I'm thinking seriously about a run. Just a very short 5k, but still something. I should probably swim too. I also need to figure out my race schedule (dayum but does that sound professional?) for next year and I really want to participate in all the great aguas abiertas (OWS) we have down here.

I don't think I could ever thank Jamie, the kids and my sister enough for the gift of their support and encouragement as theirs was over the top. I know I would not have been able to do it without them, so they are the real champions. Mil gracias familia mia.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

IM Cozumel race report

I actually was nervous about the swim. I had planned to start my swim training at the point that Jesse got sick so that was out and I ended up with a short season (5 weeks) of swim. But back when dinosaurs roamed the earth I swam (AAU) so I figured that would have to do. I had done one 3000 m swim and felt strong and figured that was a good sign. I jumped into the front group hoping find a spot to avoid and melee and on the way there was a giant eagle ray in the water. I must be jaded cause I was thinking it wasn't that big a deal and when they are a meter away from you (as they are in our bay) they aren't quite THAT neat looking. :) As I started the swim it occurred to me that I had no idea where I was going. I really should have looked at the swim route more carefully if for no other reason then to know about where I was in the swim. I tried to remember to finish my stroke but honestly it was insanity out there. There were few opportunities for clear water and I mostly was looking at bubbles or scuba divers or boats. I don't think I saw more than 1 fish. It was alternatly long and short - by the end it felt shorter than 1:30 (it was 1:15ish) but I was ready to be done with swimming. Getting out was interesting but I had read it was "interesting" so that wasn't a huge surprise. My legs were more wobbly than I thought they'd be though.

I WALKED to T1. I wasn't having any of the run to T1 madness - I was there for the experience and not to make a certain time. Course that didn't last long with all the spectators egging us on so I jogged the almost .25 km to our tent. Dumped out my bag (I'd read of others doing that and it seemed to make sense) and stripped. I really brought a lot of stuff in my jersey and at the last minute had stuffed my camera in there too. I had a numbing (lidocaine) cream (which became a lifesaver on lap 2 and 3 of the bike), a normal chamois cream (which got lost) 3 packages of Perpetuem, camera, Endurolytes, GU, etc. My jersey pockets were LOADED down. I took around 12 min in T1 and it flew by. Before I knew it I was headed out, one leg down but that marathon still looming out there.

I enjoyed the HELL out of the 1st lap. I had energy and was egging on the spectators trying to get their energy up. According to the stats I was still in 3rd place after the 1st lap but got slower on the 2nd lap. I started USING the spectators then as my stomach went from bad to worse. I couldn't stomach the power bars or their gels so I stuck with my Perpetuem and GUs until I knew something had to change. I saw the family both loops which was awesome. I tried to do a bike-by kiss with Jamie and I think I managed it. I saw Zach on this loop also (he was finishing up and lapping me) and cheered him on. The last loop was harder. It seemed like everyone in the world was passing me (only 400 people, it turns out) and here I dropped from 3rd in my AG to 18th. I also lost out on the tailwind this loop as the rain hit and down here when the rain comes you're looking at serious wind. So a bit dejected I came into T2, knowing my goal of a 6:30 bike was going to be more like 6:45 to 7:00 (it was 7:00 with all the stops included).

The T2 tent had potties so I availed myself and was glad to see I was still peeing. I had been taking 3 Endurolytes each hour on the bike but there was no way I wanted to carry those on the run so I tried something brand new - GU fizzy stuff. I am frugal enough that I refused to throw away my water bottles on the bike course but instead saved them up to throw to Jamie when I saw him and picked up a course bottle for the run. I changed, vaselined my blistered toe and headed out, glad to be out of the cold downpour and worried about the run. Course the picture (coming out of T2 shows I wasn't showing that worry).

The first lap was demoralizing. I tried to go 15 min run then 1 min walk but my feet would have none of it. I was soon down to 10 min/1 min. I was worried I wasn't going to be able to run and would have to walk the entire thing. I'd finish but I really thought I should be able to do 15-16 hours and didn't want to be slower than that. I also was wearing the colors so I didn't feel like I could walk in town at all but once I saw other (obvious) Mexican athletes walking through the cheers I gave myself permission to walk when I needed to. I had never run further than 21 km and the signage was weird beyond belief. To either cut down on signs or cost and to include the Luddites using miles, the laps would have signage with mile 4, km 15, mile 25 etc. all on the same leg. I tried to convince myself that it *could* be only a 2-lap course but adding things up (I figured each lap had to be 14km) made it 3. The people lining the course, however, MADE the run. I had 2 waiters and a cook run out of their restaurant each and every lap I did to cheer me on. Wearing the colors means you get NOTICED and cheered like nobody's business. And that really carries you along and allows you to keep on keeping on. The crowd support of this event is mind blowing.

The 2nd lap was really hard. I was a bit down knowing how far I had to go and the huge doubt I had that I'd make it. I totally expected myself to be walking. My hips started hurting bad towards 21km but it actually was a good thing as during my 21km at the HIM my hips had been very very painful from way before the end, almost from 15km so I figured that was a good thing. I got bags of ice for my hips and as I started the 3rd lap got ibuprofen and hoped for the best. I tried to tell myself it was only one 4 mile lap and one more 4 mile lap and I certainly could do that. I've read enough marathon reports that I knew there was a wall out there waiting for me also and I was really worried about that. However, as I passed through the throngs (the crowd pumped you up SO MUCH) and danced with the locals (under Punta Langosta?) I started to get a 2nd wind or something. I felt strong, I felt good and I wanted to run as much of the 3rd lap as possible. Once darkness settled I had given up on 10/1 as I couldn't see my watch so I'd run from aid station to aid station. And more. This lap I wanted to maximize the run and I did it.

Until 40km. Something about knowing I had only 2 km to go and I KNEW I could do it - but man oh man, those last 2 km were the longest of the race. I had been mentally adding up the hours and my suspicion of my run (I figured the swim was 1:30, transitions were :30 total and the run should have been 2 hours a lap) I figured I was in for a 15 hour time. I thought it could be as long as closer to 16 hours and I was pretty depressed about that but just kept running, just kept running, that's what we do, we run. So I did. And I finally came to the Most Amazing Finisher's Chute in the free world. I high-5'd everyone possible and picked up the pace and then I saw the clock. I don't think I even heard the announcer as the 14 or 15 I had expected to see was a THIRTEEN! I was so stoked about my time I forgot where I was. I crossed the line and thankfully my son taped it because I didn't remember any of it other than that beautiful clock.

I couldn't believe I'd run a marathon. I wasn't that impressed with the swim or bike but the accomplishment of the marathon is something that kept coming back to me over the next couple days. I ran a MARATHON! oh yeah, and other stuff too. :) I decided as we got off the ferry that I'm in for next year. I want to take an hour off. I'd love to see a 12 on the clock. :) I think I'm addicted.

We had such an amazing time with Zach and Kristin and headed to the east side the next day as a trip to Pig Island (that is what we call Cozumel in our family, due to the wild pigs on the east side) is not complete without a trip to the east side. We are going to miss them greatly. What lovely folks. And Zach got FOURTH. In the whole damn thing!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

prerace crap

I really should have done this yesterday because I'm already in the post-race glow/haze and everything is already a rosy, fuzzy memory. I was really worried that Zach would be overwhelmed and freaked out by the chaos that is our family but that man and his woman, the amazing Kristin were able to roll with each and every punch (and boy did we dish them out). We had saved them some turkey day leftovers in the fridge and left them to sleep and next morning (Friday) we were headed to the island. Zach and Kristin went, accompanied by the girls, to the beach for a swim and a run while the girls hung out with Kristin. No, we didn't ask if she was okay with that. I was working and Jamie was getting shit ready to go. We planned on the 3:30 pm ferry so I was able to work until noon and then we turned into tornadoes of packing.

We teased the hell out of poor Zach. He is a professional triathlete and we gave him No Respect at all for his elite status. Kristin is no slouch either as a competitive swimmer, accomplished triathlete in her own and a RAAM rider. But since Zach is a pro, he got all of our teasing. They really rolled with it though and took it all and Zach even got a couple little zingers in on his own but the poor man was completely outnumbered and didn't have a chance. On Saturday, as we were headed out to take our bikes and bags to the dump off place (T1 at the swim start) Chris and I pretended we were paparazzi and pestered him with photos and questions as he tried to escape us down the exit to the street. I never called him his correct name until probably the last day. Jamie then started messing up Kristin's name. They either think we're insane or senile. Both are probably correct.

As the days passed, however, they really stole our hearts with their sweetness and quiet acceptance and openness and we are all of us, even the kids, missing them now that they're headed home. We hope they know that they will always have a home here whenever they decide. There aren't many people who can roll with 2 adults who can't seem to call you by your name AND 4 kids and a dog and the chaos that surrounds us. They not only rolled, they grooved. What incredible ambassadors for their support, strong competitors and just great all around human beings they are. We are so lucky to have had the opportunity to get to know them.

And yes, I will be starting a Zach Rubble (but we'll call it Nate, natch) fan club.

So, thanks to Kristin and Zach I figured out where to put the numbers and what to put in the bags and what to bring and had a plan which pretty much worked out. We all loaded up to go to package pickup where I got a cap, metal water bottle and a jacket. I think I got the Mexican special for either being an old fart or competing for Mexico. Jamie was drooling over all the expo stuff but the rest of us were just DONE with the car and the event and wanted out so too soon for Jamie but not soon enough for us, we headed to Chedraui for provisions and home. Zach was leaving 20 minutes before I did so we had to be at the start the next day really dark (as it turned out) and early.

The kids did GREAT getting up the next morning and after driving all around the closed streets (with Zach no doubt getting more and more worried we'd never arrive and visions of DNS dancing in his head) we finally made a quick stop for Pepto and Jamie dropped us off, hoping to find some parking somewhere to rejoin us. Zach and I headed in to the secure area but his bike was (pro, natch) right up by the "commoners" fencing (to keep the commoners away from the elites) so the whole famdamily (Kristin included) was right next to Zach as he readied his bike. I TOTALLY did not fit in with the pros gathered around and the TV guy was eyeing me nervously as I handed Zach the bike pump (he used OUR PUMP! We have his sweat on our PUMP! We'll NEVER wash it!) and kept looking at Zach for the slightest sign of "get her the HELL AWAY from me!" but I must have pleased the pro as he never gave the signal to cart me away with the rest of the riffraff. The kids were egging me on to go make funny faces or something more rotten behind the athlete being interviewed on TV but I (being the adult here) declined. Kinda wish I hadn't though.

Then it was off to the 45 minute portapotty line, I totally missed the Mexican national anthem (which I had MEMORIZED DAMNIT) did a quick undress and headed off to the water. I was shocked (but I had been looking for them) to find the whole famdamily (which now includes Kristin, natch) right alongside our walk-the-plank start and I got so surprisingly emotional I started tearing up. I had been avoiding thinking about the event the last week or so as I had trained thinking about it all the time and just didn't want to deal anymore. I was a little worried about the swim - I knew I could probably do it no problem but I didn't want to fail at any point. Before Jesse got sick I had specific times I wanted and after taking 8 weeks off I had to throw those expectations away but really, I never did. They were just my A goals and I was really hoping to attain them, lack of training or not. Still that marathon had me super, super worried, never having run farther than 21 km (half a marathon) ever. I tried to just be in the moment and experience each moment and not worry about the next. But that marathon was like a dark cloud looming over me and it was hard to avoid it.

I wanted to get out in front not because I expected a strong swim but because I wanted to find a spot out of the melee. Ironmans are notorious for WWF-like swim starts and I did not want my goggles ripped off, bloody appendages or broken bones, after all blood + bull sharks just couldn't be a really good equation. I wanted clear water and I figured that being up front I could scout that out. I think I would have had to go about 2 km out to sea to find it though. I was way in front but since the field was so stretched out it wasn't the bloody melee of normal swim starts, just jockeying and thumping and bumping. I did get one particularly nasty blow to my quad which made me wonder if I'd be able to bike, but that was around a buoy and not the start. So the start was good.

I really should have gone to the "mandatory" meeting though because I had no idea what the swim course was. Zach and I both figured in Mexico, where we ignore the cops and stoplights are mere suggestions, the "mandatory" meeting wasn't really all that mandatory after all and he'd rely on past experience and I'd rely on....well...I was screwed. The swim started and I figured it was probably a big rectangle and I'd just keep the buoys in sight and since there was no chance I'd be leading the field I'd just follow everyone else. Like follow the leader.

Friday, November 25, 2011

a 3 hour tour...

So we took a little trip on a barco (larger than the Minnow) and ended up over here on Cozumel. For some strange reason that are lots of REALLY FIT people here! and lots of super expensive bikes! And people with weird helmets. and lots of athletic stuff for sale along the malecon. It is a strange place. Not our usual Cozumel. Oh, and there's this guy with us who says he's a "pro" but I forgot to ask pro WHAT? and yeah, forgot why we're here.

I'm on that lovely Nile.

Feels like I've been going a million kph between work and getting palapas ready for people and cleaning and working and a teensy bit of training (forgot why) and packing half the palapa for a long weekend and today I figure out where all the outlets in the new construction go.

We picked up Nate (damn, I keep calling him Nate but his name is really Zeke. No, not Zeke; it is Zach) at the airport late Thursday after having a nice potluck dinner at home. Their plane was a little late and Jamie and I were incredibly entertained with the "invisible man", the planeload of Germans from Frankfurt and the Panamanians who were obviously athletes and carrying 6 large bike bags but assured me they had no idea what "Ironman" was and no, they had no bikes. Shrug. Today I was up early to get some work in before packing like mad and manuvering the power brakeless van onto and off of the ferry. Poor Nate/Zeke/Zach must think we're trying to kill him. Got to the house we usually stay at here and headed down to check in. I am pretty much relying on my sister and Nate to keep me informed as to what to do and I'll just translate as I'm too Mexican to be bothered with knowing what needs to be done and when. I figure everything will sort itself out evenentually and what will happen will happen. Got a cap and a metal waterbottle gift at checkin along with a nice Iwanman jacket.

My sister is documenting everything so lots of pictures to follow (most are on Facebook now). Zeke wants to bike tomorrow - he swam and ran at our bay this morning - so that's what we'll do. I'll figure out bags and T1, T2, whatever tomorrow. I guess I also need to figure out what I'm supposed to put in the bags at some point too. BAGS? We don't need no stinking BAGS!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Between the jungle and the road

Pike (15yo) has been riding with Jamie recently and the other day I was able to join them for the first part of my ride. We have now nicknamed him "El Zorro" as he tends to wait and then jump, very predictably, on certain parts of the route. He is a little hammer and just needs some endurance now. I've been wicked tired lately and last night finally got a solid block of sleep - I passed out around 7pm, woke at 3am and managed to get back to sleep (!!) around 5am and finally got up around 7 or 8 am. I'm hoping that will help with the washed out feeling I've been having. I also have been using the rescue inhaler much more often than usual and doing 2 puffs on the long-acting one. I wish Dr. Google would diagnose me already and put an action plan together. I think once the IM is over I'll drop the Advair and then get some PFTs. I recently read that swimmers have a higher rate of asthma and wonder if that is what is going on - all those hours as a kid in pools and with the recent storms I've been swimming in the pool more than the sea.

I went for a run the other day and finally identified the weird sound out in the jungle I've heard before - I wild pig. The next day I smelled a smoke fire and I'm hoping someone roasted that big bad boy and are enjoying a tasty dinner. He was not too keen on backing down but when I made weird guttural noises took off into the jungle but each time I go down that stretch of path I think of it as the "pig's home." Just like the crocodile stretch (got turned around once during a storm by a croc who was snapping his jaws at me) and the snake stretch - well the snakes own the entire path but I almost stepped on one hiding under a palm branch. On my last ride with the boys Pike managed to run over a snake (on his bike) and almost immediately afterwards we all had to avoid a croaking, jumping frog. I was waiting for locusts, but instead I got RIDERS. For the first time in a year we came across riders! They were going pretty slow (at that point) so we chatted for quite a while and I found out one of them had won the Veracruz HIM (I later googled him and found he came in 2nd in his AG at the Miami HIM). It was such a treat to ride with others and 2 of them are training for Cozumel.

The cudda chased me out of the water again the other day - I hate that damn cudda - but for some reason swimming in the sea is much easier on my old shoulder injury than the pool. Can't quite figure that one out at all. I'm beginning to wonder what the hell I was thinking earlier this year in signing myself up for this - I've never run a marathon - what makes me think I can do one at the end of an IM? and also worried I've lost all my "distance" bike fitness by not having done anything longer than 120km for weeks but then I got such a sweet email from the pro we're picking up on Thursday that I got a ray of hope.

I had a massage yesterday to try and work out the scar tissue in my calves and was sorely disappointed. It was a 2-hour massage but each and every time she came close to the pain she would back off. Incredibly frustrating. I wanted the pain, I wanted the knots worked out, I was ready to suffer, but she was all "energy" and "center" and "light" and "negative" and whispers and scents and woo woo. I should have known; she lives in Tulum. :) Jamie and I are off on a 90km ride and now I will be adhering to the real plan and go into serious taper next week. I've been going over the plan up to now but next week will be serious sloth taper week.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Caught between denial and dread

So I finally got the courage, after almost the entire season, to go topless. It finally got warm enough (we've been hit with norte tras norte) and I've slimmed down enough to wear just a jog bra. Well, maybe those around me didn't agree wiht the jiggle. :) I'm starting to realize that the long brick I did the other weekend is what has put me into the blahs. It was just too much I think. I just hope I recover in time to do Cozumel. All my big talk about a short taper turns out to be just that, talk. I rode only 5 some hours last week and ran only 4 or more and with only 3-4 hours swimming that made for a short week of training - lowest in at least a month. So much for taper. Fortunately I think I have the saddle issues on the run (so to speak) and will find out for sure today. Jamie also fixed my lack of shifting and what a nice surprise to be able to shift again!

So this week I think I'll adhere to the taper schedule and really back down on the running as I think this is where I really need to be careful. I'm alternately scared about what to come and excited (as my sister is muling down a SHITLOAD of crap), oh and there is that Ironman thing too (lalalala I can't hear you). I know it is going to hurt. I know it will be awful (Jamie keeps telling me about his horrific Terrible Two experience) but I'm hoping it won't all be hell. After all, I'm planning to do it again next year. (the ignorant are so cute, aren't they?) Yesterday I swam a straight 3000 m set and I was surprised at how strong I finished. Hoping it all holds together. Maybe duct tape?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Taper but not like the worm

because here, we definitely got the worm part DOWN!

This last week has been hard. Either the long brick I did last Saturday did me in or all the training has caught up with me because I was hard pressed to hit any of my workouts this week except swimming (which is coming along....(yes) swimmingly!). Run is always good after the first 20 minutes. Bike is hard. I don't want to and yesterday I was so tired after the 1st loop I came home, lay down (in the dust, still under construction) and waited. Then joined by my 15yo (and Jamie, again) I headed out for loop 2. I have some open sores and sitting on that seat was just torture. So I only did 4 hours and headed out for a run. I was STARVING hungry when I got back - I figured out I way underfed myself (630 cal for 5+ hours) and it took a croissant and a bowl of rice with avocado to bring me back to human. It was scary and I almost took off my 15yo's head with my insane rantings at one point. I've never been so hungry before in my life.

I'm pretty much resigned to the fact that I probably have some kind of asthma. I used the rescue (albuterol) inhaler before yesterday's ride and got great relief from it - I've been doing the long-acting stuff (Advair) since my last attack (2-3 weeks ago?) and had one instance in the pool where I needed albuterol. I need to find a good lung doc and see what is what. For now, I think I'm doing ok with 1 puff 2xday of the Advair and albuterol when needed. I'm starting to think my triggers are common cold/respiratory illness and exercise but only together as we're all fighting some cold right now and my first attack (4 days hospitalized) came on the heels of a really bad respiratory illness.

Cozumel is 2 weeks away. That alternately bores me (denial) or terrifies me (no denial). I am looking forward to meeting seeing my sister (who is coming down for the event) and have been busily sending her all kinds of stuff to mule down. Poor dear will be loaded down like a sherpa.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011


that last long training session was probably the most important one I have done to date. I totally expected that my legs would not be able to handle 2 hours of running after the 180km ride and I would immediately realize I NEEDED to walk/run the marathon in the IM. What I found was that my legs were GOLDEN. I held 32 min for each 5k until the last one (33min) but found afterwards my feet were mashed meat. I have Morton's neuroma with both feet but haven't been bothered (yet) this season. I'd also done a stand alone 2-hour run with no problem so I was pretty convinced that I *should* be able to run the entire marathon in the IM but needed a solid brick to prove it (or not) to myself. I found my legs were great on the brick but I'm going to have to run/walk the marathon and stifle that ego to get through it. Maybe next year. Yeah, I'm already planning for a do-over for next year. :)

Friday, November 04, 2011

Before and After

Gawds it has been forever and so much has happened and I can't even hope to catch up. Getting nutrition nailed down - will do a 2-hr run after ride tomorrow to see if I want to contemplate NOT doing run/walk (my head keeps telling me to go for it - i.e. no walk - so I need to show it how wrong it is) and I think I will do another 6-hour ride next weekend too. Most plans start the taper (3 weeks) after this week but I would like another long ride under my belt (in my head - I really have become to dread them but since I learn something new each and every ride I know they are good for me). So now the 90km Tulum ride is no longer that big of a deal but every time I go for a short (40km) ride I worry about nutrition (so NOT necessary).

I've been chasing cramping issues and it happens mostly at night or in the water. I had one DISASTEROUS swim around the hurricane where my hands were so frozen that they stayed numb for hours afterwards. I was dreading the next swim So MUCH that I stayed away from the pool for almost a week (well, there were other pressing reasons to miss the pool also like a HURRICANE) and day before yesterday had a good swim (except for the damn cramping). I have GOT to get my mule list together as I think the answer just might be electrolytes. We'll see tomorrow.

We're going to help a profession triathlete come to Cozumel - we'll put him (and his fiance) up here Thursday night and then we'll all head over to the island on Friday. Yikes! The event is creeping up on me. I'm starting to envision parts of it (visualization used to be big when I was a swimmer) but I still have so little hope. I figure 1:30 for the swim (hoping for 1:15 but I've been out of the water so long it isn't funny), 7-7.5 hours for the bike and the "run" is going to be a HUGE question mark. Doubling my HIM run I should be able to do 5 hours but I highly doubt that. HOWEVER, my runs off the bike are getting faster. Weather is changing and midday runs/bikes are not even a second thought. It is still nice (warm) but no longer too hot to go out.

There was a thread at BT about weight loss and since I've lost weight over such a long period of time that I've never really had the opportunity to see the change. I've been around 70 all week and today hit 69.8. I still have some to go but nothing like before. The pictures really kinda shocked me - I had no idea my back end had lost so much. Kinda scary to put the photographic evidence out there...

Saturday, October 22, 2011

long ride finally done

Today my goal was to finish 180km and dial in nutrition. Last ride I'd found the Perpeteum and Cytomax were a bad mix and I dumped all the Cytomax (powder) with Jamie when he rescued me from the flats/no spare/unable to patch due to rain. But I was cramping horrifically last ride and wanted to address that. I'm getting there. I headed out this morning, after waiting for it to warm up a smidge as we're under frente frio No. 6 (!!! already, and it is only OCTOBER) and wasn't sure where I'd go. I'd mapped out the distance to Coba and there and back was a neat 180km but I was worried about the dogs along the route. I considered doing Tulum twice (another 180 km) but I am so Sick To Death of riding back and forth to and from Tulum I might die of boredom. I also considered going past Tulum for 45 km and turning around but I had no idea of what the abarrote support was south of Tulum and I knew I'd need another liter of water at the turnaround so I finally nixed that. I also considered 3 loops of Xel-Ha becasue the Ironman course is also 3 loops of 60ish.

In the end I went with Coba, mostly because I told our abanil I was going there (and his eyes bugged out) and because I've not been there yet. I was right to worry about the dogs but after I figured out to stuff rocks under my shorts and throw them at the dogs it got easier. I was pretty done at 4-4-1/2 hours and super hungry at that point. For some reason I hate using GU (I take it for emergency) but couldn't find candy anywhere until Tulum the 2nd time (135 km) and by then I was doing better.

I had 2 packages of Perpeteum (270 cal each), 1 Cliff Bar (240?), 2 GU (180), 1 bag of lifesaver gummies (180) and half a PB&J and a Poweraid. I figured it was about 1000-1100 calories at the 4.5 hour point and I'd probably burned about 3000 cal so maybe that's why I was hungry. Who knows. I scarfed down some lifesaver gummies and than added a GU and all of a sudden I was bloated. I worked that down and took only Poweraid and water for the rest of the ride (almost 2 hours) and was almost better when I got home. So I found I can do real food and bike+run. It was super duper low humidity today (60ish and temp only got up to 29) and I was covered with powder when I got home, so apparently the humidity hides all the salt. I took Endurolyte tablets - 2 whenever I thought I needed them - and never cramped and am only very minimally cramping now at home.

So a good day all around but TBH, I'm not looking forward to more 6-hour rides. Tomorrow is a 2-hour ride and then we're off to Home Depot to try and stay ahead of the construction.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

lack of planning or trying?

We're under all the red/pink/white. I suppose I should have put on my big girl panties and gone out yesterday because I'm not sure the winds and rain were any better today. The traffic must have been less today though. I had a pretty good first 2.5 hours and then flatted and my spare was a dud. So I tried to patch the original (spare already had 1 patch) in the rain and finally gave up and called Jamie. Like a knight on a white horse he showed up with the heater blasting and gave me 2 spare tubes AND changed the bad tube. He then headed back home to meet me at David's with a new bottle with Perpeteum (I'm loving the caffe latte flavor) and a Cliff Bar and water and he'd accompany me for the first 18 km of my 2nd 90km loop. Unfortunately he was running late so I headed back to the palapa only to find out work was screaming for help. I was really pissed I was going to have to cut short my ride (the flat and coming home put me 1.5 hours in the hole) and was a lousy companion for about the first 18km or so. Since I decided to cut my ride short to get home in time to help work out Jamie decided to come with and we slogged through the wind and the rain together. Except the rain was somewhat acidic and he couldn't see. He had to stop occasionally to clear his eyes and I just tucked my head down and rode. If you can call 22-23 kph riding. I was so discouraged. I was going to miss out on my 6-hour test ride AND a brick run AND I was going slower than molasses.

I finally got my head together and got out of the 21-23kph doldrums and headed home. Once home I found work didn't need me after all! ARGH! So I went for a run and walked the puddles (our puddles get super slick with the limestone+flour sand) and came home to a wonderful meal - jamie had made salmon, potatoes and broccoli. I'm not sure about the Perpeteum. It totally worked today but I'm not sure it would work on a hot day. I'll just have to try again and see. I had 2 envelopes of Perpeteum (540 cal), 2 GU (180 cal), 1 Cliffbar (240) and 3 scoops of Cytomax (270 cal) over 6 hours (bike+run). I was not starving at the end but I definitely was hungry. According to BT I only burned around 3700 cal and at 1230 cal taken in that averaged about 200 cal/hr. That Cliffbar went down REALLY well at about 2 hours in and I think I should probably try for 225-250 cal/hr average next time. So while I didn't hit my goal of 180km and 6 to 6.5 hours, I did get 150 km in and that's pretty close. Next weekend will be the ticket. I think I'll head to Coba.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Invest 95

Whenever we got more than an hour of rain there is a good chance it will become "something." So after a full day of rain I figured we were under "something" and unfortunately it came during my Cannot Miss Another workout due to the 8 weeks I took of during Jesse's illness so I have to get it in somehow. I have 6.5 hours of riding to get in and it is looking like it will be tomorrow. I (stupidly?) believed Accuweather and Wunderground who pegged tomorrow as less rain and half the wind speed but looking at the current map, I'm not so sure. If nothing else tomorrow will be a day of less traffic as most don't work Sundays and with the weather people will likely be staying home. So if nothing else there will be fewer cars on the road. Only road around here for hundreds of kilometers. Last night I learned a good lesson in swimming - I've gone from 0 to 9000 meters this week and my old shoulder injury came out SCREAMING last night (with 2 days in a row of 3000 m). This is so sad as when I was a kid I did 10K a DAY during long-course season. How far we fall when we age. So no more back-to-back days of swimming. But the stroke that is there does feel good. I'm feeling positive about that aspect of the IM but I STILL don't even know how far we're supposed to swim but figure it has to be double the HIM and the HIM was 1.9 so the IM must be 3.8, right? I'm pretty solid on 3.8 km so I'm feeling confident on the swim front. Just have to keep the shoulder healthy.

Running is going well enough so far but I'm trying hard to restrain myself. I keep wanting to pile on the distance but I know I really shouldn't. I finally thought during today's (very wet) run that I can probably double my workouts by adding water running, but I'm not sure I'm up for 2 hours of water running (to add to my 3 hours of land running). The boredom might kill me but being more prepared for the IM just might be the tipping point. But the boredom. Geez.

So tonight I'm going over nutrition (Cytomax, Cliff Bars and GU) and figure I'll go with 2 loops of the Tulum route (90 km) instead of going out to Coba (180 km RT) for an increase in available abarrotes for water/Poweraid and easier pickup (should I need a rescue van). I've done Tulum about a million times so the boredom might kill me (beginning to be a common theme) but next long ride I'll try for Coba. Course that's assuming I'll be able to make it 6.5 hours on the bike. Big question in my mind but it will be a relief if/when I get her done.

Monday, October 10, 2011

the secret to ironman

is that you look forward to the marathon after being on the bike. This past weekend in the space of 23 hours I put 8 hours in on the bike. Yowzers my delicate lady bits are complaining this morning. AND I was SHORT by 1:20. No way I was going to do more than I did. :) Saturday late afternoon I did the Tulum (88km) ride and early next am I was up for another round of Tulum and then back to the palapa to celebrate my youngest hitting double digits. Once she dedicated herself to the computer for the day (on their birthdays they get to do whatever they want) I headed out for another 2 hours and finished a hour shy of 23 hours. I was never so happy to set out on a run than I was for the brick (30 min) after that last ride. And I think that is the secret to Ironman. You're so happy to be off the bike you look forward to run. Sickos. :)

Today I'm supposed to put in another hour. I don't think so.

Got back from Merida on Friday and it is good to be home but I do miss living indoors. Now I need to really buckle down with training as October and November will be my last gasps. Next weekend I want to do 5 hours straight (or 6) on the bike to see if it would be possible. After this weekend I'm pretty sure it is. In Merida I know I got to a new weight low but without a scale I had no idea what it was, so this morning when I saw 69.4 on the scale I was really quite excited.

Picture is from the pool at Dolores Alba. On the way home from Merida we stopped to let Mom and Dad visit Chichen Itza.

Haven't done this for a while...
August totals (boy went in hospital 22-Aug)
Bike 17 hours 533 km
Run 7.5 hours 15.5 hr
Swim 45 min 20,400 m

September totals (left for merida 8-Sept)
Bike 15 hours 425 km (I have already equaled this in October)
Run 7.5 hours
Swim 45 min
17 days without any training at all

October totals (last week with food poisoning, etc.)
Bike 417.25 km 15 hours
Run 3.5 hr
Swim 1800 m

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


So I'm starting to get exercise back in. I don't go for a ride unless is it 2 hours and have been trying to hit 30-45 min runs every day. I can't begin to hope for swimming - that will have to wait until Jesse is either out of the hospital or I am back at home. We need to stay in Merida another week after discharge (hopefully today if fever stays away) so I won't be back to the Caribbean waters for at least another week. Probably week and a half.

I've been either riding the periferico (not preferred) or out to Progreso and back. I prefer the Progreso ride as the carretera is THREE LANES wide and a big shoulder and seems like no traffic compared to the carretera at home. I exit for each overpass as there is always a lot of crap on the roads there and I don't like merging over to the right through freeway entrance traffic. It isn't a bad ride and Progreso is rather colonial in places. I don't think they get a lot of cyclists in there though but at least I'm not looked at as an alien. I take a quick turn along the malecon then back to the zocalo (through throngs of kids getting out of school (they run 2 turnos - one am and one pm) and then back to the carretera. I'm starting to like the ride.

I've lost around 3 kg since we left - when Jesse was hospitalized the last time we both weighed 71.8kg. Yesterday Jamie weighed him at 66.5 (he has not been eating at all) and I checked myself this am and with a jacket and all my clothes (and shoes) I was at 70.5. So I'm thinking around 68-69kg. I can definitely tell a difference and even had my sister buy me some smaller jeans as none of my old "skinny" stuff fits. I'm hoping I can keep those kilograms off as it can only help running and biking. I don't think swim cares. I know Jamie is still against me participating in the Ironman but I honestly don't think I can NOT. I have to try. If nothing else it will give me something to overcome next year. Oh yeah, unless I die out there I am sure I'll have something to prove to myself next year that, due to lack of training, this year I won't be able to achieve.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Big change in plans

I had time hopes for IM Cozumel but now I am just hoping to finish. My practice has been almost nonexistant most of august and all of September. I'm really worried. I was totally on track with 2 sports a day and now I just hope I can get something in on the weekend. My son developed a collapsed lung August 22 and we've been chasing that down, eventually ending up in Merida, a city 5 hours away from home, for surgery. I'm going to finally dust off the old blog and update there on that. But that leaves me with 3-4 missing weeks of training, weeks 8, 9, 10 and 11ish and I'm really really really worried now just about finishing IM Cozumel. Jamie is suggesting I don't even try to do it. I don't know what to do. I'm going to get a ride and run in today and tomorrow and the rest of the week is up the in air. I was used to doing 2 sports a day. Now I don't know. I'm plenty worried about what this means come the end of November. right now the picture above has been my life 24/7 (I literally do not leave the hospital for 2-3 days at a time)

Monday, August 29, 2011

2 hour run

My longest run prior to my HIM had been 90 minutes and I was sore beyond belief (quads and legs) after my HIM so I imagined I'd need serious recovery time if I went over 90 minutes again. I was a little freaked out at all the training time I lost out on last week so I decided to go for a 90 min run yesterday and shoot for a full 2 hours if I felt good enough. I had no problem with a 2-hour run and it is still blowing my mind a little bit that I ran that long. It was super overcast and cool and I think that's the reason it worked so well. I followed the run up with a tropical ice-bath which is radically different from those north of the border, I assume. First off, bathtubs just do not exist here. I've never seen one anywhere in Mexico. I assume some really touristy places might have them but I've never seen them.

So I headed over to the pool, restaurant and dive shop and got my favorite waiter's attention to bring me the paper, a cup of coffee and a bag of ice. I sat myself in the foot bath for the pool (to clean off your feet before getting in the water), donned my sweatshirt and sat in the ice water. But since it is rather warm down here, it was just cold water. Maybe next time I'll try 2 bags of ice. It certainly was not the horror that everyone writes it up to be but it was coldish water.

Today I went for a short (28 min) run and had no soreness and no stiffness. I had tried to swim earlier but between work, the rough seas, and the pool cleaning, I was never able to get a chance. I'll have to double up one day this week to get it done.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

a side of HFTU

I spent the last week (6 days) in the hospital with my son. It is very common here to have at least one family member stay with the hospitalized person the entire time but not really that necessary in the private hospitals here. As Jesse isn't quite fluent I wanted someone there the entire time until he was stable and also since I have a little medical background (from work) and these were totally new doctors to us I wanted to make as sure as possible that he was getting the correct care (as best I could determine). I was able to get a ride and run in on Monday but that was the very last workout I got in until Friday night when I was able to get a quick run in while Jamie and the kids came to sit with Jesse for a bit. Jesse came home yesterday afternoon and we both went right to sleep. So today I need to try and catch up a bit. It is storming a bit so no ride but I can run and probably swim (stormy seas make for hard swims but empty the pool normally so it should be a win-win either way). In the picture, one of his meals. Hospital food is really Very Very Excellent here - always fresh - never packaged and always whole.

I keep reading on the triboards about how everyone's workout are getting postponed or wiped out due to Hurricane Irene and all I can think of is, "welcome to my world." All summer we have tropical storm after tropical storm roll through and the seas are not the safest place to be. My alternate is a pool which is either 10m or 12m long and mentally draining to put in a workout. Biking during storms is very dangerous as when the summer rains come down, most cars will actually pull over to the side of the road and wait out the deluge. When it rains, it dumps so hard the visibility is none. Running during storms only brings out the snakes and crocodiles along the path and rivers of water (I run between the jungle and the beach), but if I waited out each and every storm I'd never be able to train. Tropical storms don't compare to the strength and destruction of a hurricane (though they are what hurricanes are made out of) but they are just as disrupting.

Course those north of the border do have winter to deal with (where it is possible to dip below 12C apparently! The HORROR!!!) and I will be the first to admit that if I had to train below 15C I don't think I'd ever go out. I'm already suffering at 20C and can't imagine month after month of that kind of insanity.

So now I need a little HTFU to get my ass out there today as a week (I literally have not been home since Wednesday) of sitting in a recliner in a hospital room somewhat messes with your motivation in getting back into the swing again. I tend to be either 0% or 100% involved in training - once I back off to 0 it is hard to get back to 100 again. And ick, how I hate training in that tiny pool. Sigh.

Monday, August 22, 2011

xmas in august

OMG, I have to laugh at how "Mexican" I've become - down to the no smiles in pictures. :)

We recently had some mail shipped down and a mule delivery (and another mule delivery this Saturday). It is JUST like Xmas, actually BETTER because we actually get more than Xmas. :) We got mail, I got shorts and 3 new (to me) running tops, 3 DeSoto tri tops (I only wanted one and have already someone waiting to take the other 2 off my hands in Cozumel) and MAIL! We have had a TON of credit card fraud and had to cancel 2 credit cards so we have been waiting for the new ones. I even had my folks buy some stuff for me as I couldn't wait for the new cards to arrive (so the package would get to my mule). I also got SWIM SUITS! I've been using tankinis to swim in up to now and wondered if a "real" swimsuit would make a difference. Dunno about time but it is sweet to have a "real" suit and I love the patterns!

AND the recent muling brought Expresso flavored GU, Caffe Latte flavored Perpeteum, 2 boxes of chocolate Powerbars (for Jamie), 2 sunglasses (safety glasses but they ROCK for cycling), Jesse's new laptop (and my backup for work/travel) and electrolye tablets. I tried out the GU on my brick yesterday (65km ride + 48 min run) and I must have taken it way too late in the bike/too early run as I got a bit sick to my stomach about 1/2 way through the run. I'm up to 2 scoops of Cytomax per bottle now on rides but had ordered the Perpeteum before I was able to handle the 2 scoops of Cytomax (and despaired of ever being able to handle anything on the ride).

I took an unexpected rest day the other day and by the end of the day I was depressed (without knowing it). I just felt really OFF and wrong. I always feel this way on a rest day, but I had no options for workout any of the 3 sports. Next day was a 72 min run and although it was incredibly hard (I'm getting faster) I felt So Much Better afterwards and realized I'm more than a little bit addicted to my training. My running is coming along, getting faster, and I'm staying healthy. I'm happy every time I get a swim in as if the sea hasn't been stormy then the pool is full of tourists. I hit every swim the past 2 weeks and I'm very happy about that. This week will likely be a wash as my eldest is in the hospital with a pneumothorax and today I've already missed swim and run.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Going well

The last couple weeks I've stuck to the bike schedule on my plan and finding my legs aren't quite as dead as I remember from HIM training. Next week has only 3 hours for the bike on schedule (my guess is it is a recovery week) and I already know that isn't going to fly. I'll need to do at least 5. Running is going well - I'm bumping up to 24, 48, 72 next week and hit 3 hours 40 min this week of running. So far, the injury gods have left me alone and I really think it is all due to the BarryP plan.

We went to Cozumel a couple weeks ago to ride the bike route but I've decided I really need to run the run route. It is the run that really has me scared. I figure 1.5 hours (actually 1.25 if all goes well) for the swim, 7 for the bike and 6 for the run and that should allow me to come in under 15 hours. I have a feeling the Veracruz HIM was really easy and this IM will be more than 2xHIM+1 hour (which would put me at 14 hours) so we'll see. I'm starting to come around to the idea that I'll be doing a marathon at the end of the bike and not freaquing out totally at the idea.

I had some swim to make up (from Friday's aborted swim) so I did a short triathlon today - 90km bike, 22 min run and 900m swim. In that order. I needed to get out on the bike early and beat the worst of the heat (32-33C and 65% ish) and the plan called for 1 hour zone 1, 2nd hour zone 2 and 3rd hour zone 1. I was surprised how hard it was to get and hold zone 2 (and honestly I wasn't exactly sure of my Z2 cutoff HR so I'm off to figure that now...) and it turns out I was right around Z2 for the 2nd hour but I had to work to get there. Unfortunately (or not?) I stayed in Z2 for the 3rd hour also - but it wasn't hard at all. :) Must have hit 33C that hour.

I really wanted to experiment with nutrition this ride and did 2 scoops of Cytomax in each bottle for the first time. It worked well enough - I wasn't starving hungry when i got home but took Electrolit and Cytomax (1 scoop) out on the run and before the swim. So, I didn't really eat until 2pm and had 7 scoops of Cytomax, 1250 mL of Electrolit and I wasn't starving. In calories that was only 880 calories and I know I would have needed more to go longer. I'm thinking that for a long brick I'll need 2 scoops/bottle AND a GU each hour. I was also really thirsty and found 4 bottles (3 L) was not enough hydration on the bike. As a matter of fact, I've had countless refills of my 625 mL bottle of Electrolit all afternoon and just now, at 7:30 pm, peed for the first time since 2pm. So a little work to do there too. But it was a good day for getting information.

We had hopes to head down to Laguna Bacalar this weekend but girls got sick and Ellen got injured (horse) so we're home for now. We had hoped to do a mini-vacation each weekend of August and will try for Bacalar next weekend. I have a huge itch to swim in both the laguna (site of OWS competitions) and Cenote Azul.

Pretty happy with the training so far - now hoping for calm seas tomorrow so I can get my swim in. Picture is rainfall seen from the car ferry heading home from Cozumel.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cozumel preview

IM Cozumel is closed (as per Slowtwitch). We had already decided to come over to the island as one of our mini vacactions (we'll also go to Bacalar (Cenote Azul), Boca Paila (after the 10K in Tulum next Sunday) and Merida during August. We can't leave for many days at a time due to my work constraints and the girls' horseback lessons so we'll do long weekends.

We decided to head over yesterday afternoon but go figure, showing up 15 minutes before the ferry leaves (car ferry) during vacation month is actually a laughable event. The ferry guy suggested showing up at 3:30 for the 6pm ferry. I had planned to work as soon as we got to Cozumel but decided I'd blow off work and suggested we head to La Floresta for some fish tacos as Jamie and I had not eaten at all and had a 40km bike ride we'd just finished. The family didn't have to be convinced at all and we stuffed ourselves silly at lunch. Jesse (who is intent on breaking every teen boy stereotype there is by never eating anything) had 3, I had 2, Ellen had 3 (camaron, much smaller than fish), Jamie had 5 and Sissy had 3. Thus sated we headed home so I could work a tiny bit, get the contact info for the house we were renting (I'd previously forgotten it) and headed back to the ferry terminal. We're pretty much used to just showing up and doing stuff so it was a bit weird to plan to be somewhere at a specific time, and we managed not to go too insane waiting. At 5:30 we got our ferry papers and at 6:00 we were still waiting to board for the 6:00 departure. It ended up being over an hour late and we got to Cozumel at 9pm instead of 7:30 pm. The owner of the house had given up waiting on us but he was quickly located and came by on his bike, showed us in and around and even called us later with the clave for the internet. SWEET! Unfortunately, there are only 2 king beds instead of 1 king and 2 twins so I'm not sure this will work for the IM. Boys will NOT share bedspace with ANYONE so I'm thinking for tonight we'll have to find some colchones for them. At any rate, Jamie and I provisioned up with Ellen this morning. We have water, cawfee, breaky and enough to last the kids until we get back from our ride. Because we're circumventing the island today, loop 1 of 3 for the IM in November. I'm really glad we came over now - I was starting to wonder on ferry last night. Kilo has been a great traveler and he is such an easy dog it isn't funny.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

It's not the sharks, it's the PELICANS!

I finally figured out my run plan for IM training. I only do BarryP (as it has kept me injury free all year and after 2 years of constant injury, I'm a TOTAL convert) but that is a LOT of running (frequency) so it took some juggling to get it in there. And I wanted to add some longer runs towards the late middle of the training.

I finally got off my butt and started looking for accomodations during the IM as our usual place now has a very territorial cat and our dog would not be welcome. We're going to head over to the island this weekend and check things out and have a nice vuelta of the island. Looking forward to it. Next weekend is the Tulum 10K (or an unofficial Sprint in Cancun) which reminds me to register before the inscription bumps up (until today you couldn't register). ARGH. I have been looking EVERYWHERE for info on this 10K and until today there was nothing published. I now find that inscripciones were open June 1 and the fee is already up to $200. Yuck. I'll still do it though. :) So typical here.

So the other day I finally manned up and got in the sea water. I really dislike swimming in the sea, especially after being "dogged" by that damn cudda, so I'd try to finagle a way to get in the 10-12m pool before cleaning and definitely before hotel patrons strolled over for a dip and kept getting kicked out for maintenance. Since Jamie requires that I do not swim solo, swimming in the sea in the early morning doesn't work out very well. So last week I started running early morning and swimming afternoon when my babysitters were awake. Finally got some distance in. I really don't worry about sharks much but my last swim SOMETHING was hitting my feet intermittently. There is little debris in the sea and I couldn't figure out what it could be until after the last "hit" I saw a pelican heading skyward. Apparently my slow 2-beat kick looked too much like a fish to that pelican until he got close enough to see the leg and body of the large animal and aborted dinner.

I'm learning to listen to my body - the last 2 rides before today were hard, PR rides and today I put on the brakes and rode SLOW. It was actually hard to ride slow. I worked on cadence and got bored but my legs thanked me. Thursday's ride will thank me. I'm not sure how it was possible but just before heading out on Sunday's ride, I clipped in and immediately fell over. I've got good road rash (gravel) and am soaking with tea-tree oil to stave off infection.

I think I finally have a handle on the training and am looking forward to seeing what happens in the next weeks.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Day in the Life

I can't believe I haven't updated in so long! I finally threw caution to the wind this week and got in the water. I still have that damn ear blockage but I'm done waiting for the TM to turn right side around. Everyoneceandawhile I think I can hear but then it is gone again.

So I decided to do a DOTL. It's not super accurate because I forgot various times throughout the day but this is a pretty standard day. I'm the first one up and Jamie and I have been sleeping in the recamera with the girls since we tore the trailer apart. I tend to be eaten alive by mosquitos so after the first bloody night I strung up curtains around our bed. Ellen sleeps on the floor and we have STUFF stacked everywhere.

I normally get up, get online, start downloading work and then head outside to the kitchen to start a pot of cawfee. To the right here you can see the almost complete absence of trailer, pouring calica (fill) and the surrounding block to form the base of the floor of the new area (bathroom, recamera and office). To the left is the kitchen before the destruction which will be brought about by the family throughout the day. The kids are responsible for nightly kitchen cleanup so this is how it is left when they are done. Pretty nice, eh? They do good work.

So I gets my cawfee and works until Jamie wakes and we then watch the tour. How much depends on how much work I have. When the tour finishes for the day Jamie heads to the kitchen (girls are likely still asleep, but not always) and makes cawfee and I keep working. Today is a ride day so when I find a good stopping point we get ready for a ride while the girls do some schoolwork. All my riding and running stuff fits in this drawer. We've become more Mexican in our clothing habits and both the girls and I can fit all our clothes into 2 drawers. Big drawers, but 2 drawers. Ellen takes only one. Boys probably take 1 to 2. Jamie is the clothes horse and I have no idea how many drawers he'd need.

We have pretty much only one choice in ride, either north or south, and traffic is always less south so we head down to Akumal and back for our ride. This is our (short) bread and butter ride. We have a medium (58-60km) and a long (90 km) but this ride is standard for us and we do it 3-4 times a week. We have our favorite sprint areas (living on a flat peninsula any rise is the road is a "hill" and serves for sprints. By the time we get back the laundry is either ready to be hung or brought in, but that's not my job - I head back to work in my makeshift office (recamera) until construction gives me a real office. It has been a bit cramped but I'm finding I really enjoy having the kids around all the time. I was really isolated in the trailer office and I'm wondering how much I'm really going to enjoy being way over there again (once construction is done) after enjoying their company all day here in the recamera.

After eating, someone else doing housework and me working some more it is time to take the girls to horse lessons. Sissy is sick so it is just Ellen today.

The drawer of run and bike. Nike tempo shorts, Target socks, Champion bras, tops, 1-2 bib shorts, and 5-6 jerseys. I have to be honest that I'm pretty sure I have more in a duffle somewhere.

I was supposed to go for a run but I'm so used to bricking my rides (and I ran out of time in order to get Ellen to her lesson) that I totally forgot to run when I got home, but instead worked a little more, ate and went to bed. I just finished week 1 of IM training and just like with the HIM I'm wondering if I'll ever be able to do the workouts in the middle but will just have to trust the training. Like the HIM, I'm padding the cycling a bit again. Now to hunt down mozzies before heading off to bed and starting it again tomorrow.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

glory days

I'm convinced that these are my glory days. I swam competitively as a kid and even did a triathlon when I was around 25, but these 50s? They are the glory days. I'm in better shape (or senile, either one is really a very good possibility) than I've ever been and stronger than I've been. And looking back at the beginning of this month, I'm thinking, those were my glory days BECAUSE I'M STILL NOT WORKING OUT!!! I can't swim (had to blow off the Aguas Abiertas at Bacalar this weekend) due to the ear, and the chest gunk is Just Now starting to fade. I'm not alone - the entire family (except Ellen - go figure on that one) got sick and Jesse missed the last 2 weeks of school. So it hit All of us Very Hard. But dayum, are my glory days over? Will I ever hear again on the left side? Will I ever NOT be dizzy? I can't ride because of the dizziness and today I decided I'd run. Except I forgot to check the weather. Tropical disturbance and waves of storms chased through all day. So, maybe tomorrow? This picture is from the HIM - apparently there are supposed to be lots of pictures of me (I guess I was the only broad with braids as the photographer commented that he recognized me because of the braids) and this is one freebie. I was looking through pictures today and feeling nostalgic for the glory days of 3 WEEKS ago and boy, I really need to get out more. Tomorrow to run. Or buried in a tropical thingie. Actually this tropical wave is supposed to organize in the Bay of Campeche and I'm hoping good thoughts for Texas.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

crawling towards the light

For the first time in 11 days I'm looking forward. This sickness has totally hammered the entire famdamily except Jamie and Ellen. Sissy has been in bed for a week, Jesse is missing all his exams (and on the 4th or 5th day of school missed), Pike might be coming out of the woods today and even Kilo (the dog) has been off. Maybe just because nobody has been well enough to walk the poor guy. I had an appetite 2 days ago. I had energy the day before yesterday. Yesterday sucked but today I'm starting to feel good again - and just in time as I have a (forgotten) open water swim competition this weekend! Ack! I'm still not sure what I'm going to do about that as my left ear is totally blocked with blood behind the tympanic membrane. Docs at the clinic are stymied and gave me a last ditch dose of dexamethasone yesterday to see if that would help but it doesn't seem like it has. We have all been dozing and recovering for what seems like the entire month of June, but I know I did a triathlon back at the beginning of the month so it can't have been a month, but dayum, it sure feels like it.

I had visions of going for a run yesterday but the dizziness (from the ear issue) made it difficult to walk and then I had a little tiny relapse of the "sickness" so that was out and then I passed out for my daily nap(s) and that was that. Today I'm hoping for a run. I need to get on my bike. I've lost 3 kg (which is good) but it is probably all muscle mass. You know your priorities are weird when you're not happy with weight loss (even though it is a "good" thing) because it is likely muscle mass. I still have 3 kg I'd like to lose before I decide what I want to weigh and I know I have it to lose but I HATE losing that muscle I worked so hard for.

Doctor is going to make a house (or palapa in our case) call today - no fee whatsoever (as she's still chasing down my particular problem) and we'll see what she says about the ear and the competition this weekend. If nothing else, maybe Jamie and I will just take a drive down to the beautiful laguna Bacalar for the day and pick up my t-shirt. Sigh. There is also a triathlon on Puerto Morales (sprint) I'm eyeing in a week or two so I guess that's another sign my mojo is on its way back.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


I was pretty sore (quads) a couple days after the HIM and after sitting in a car for 2 days I was sure I saw edematous ankles, but now I've got dengue-like body aches, fever of 38.5 (101+), gunky chest and the energy of a nursing home resident. After my fever decreased this morning I treated myself to some Tylenol which magicked away the horrific body aches and head-in-a-vise headache, but I'd like return the liquid shit that seemed to come with it. Is there another symptom I'm missing here? I've never had so many symptoms of so many illnesses (dengue fever, flu and gastroenteritis). I had hoped to be back training again by now.

Good thing IM training doesn't start until July.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Day before triathlon and triathlon

Saturday morning I was up early and working and decided to forego the planned swim of the triathlon as we'd found out the night before that not only had the bike course been changed but that the swim would not start from the island (due to unanticipated early turtle nesting) so there ended up being no swim familiarization anyway. When I was done working for the morning, everyone but Jesse (as it turns out, the smart one) headed down for package pickup. I had No paperwork whatsoever, not even my emails but somehow my mind remembered my FMTri number and they located my information and package. If you hadn't affiliated with the national triathlon federation you needed to pony up an extra $100 ($8USD) and affiliate for the day and fill out all kinds of computer stuff and the wait for that was rather long, but I just needed to photocopy my ID (FM3) and hand it over for pickup which inlcuded....SALT TABLETS!!! The girl handing them out acknowledged that they indeed, were NOT available anywhere in Mexico so they must have imported them. With the forecast for 38C for the day I was over the moon and Very excited to get such a treat.

We ended up timing package pickup with the first junta previa and since the meetings were obligatory I headed out for it (at a different hotel from entrega de paquetes) while Jamie, the girls and Pike hung out at the beach at the first hotel. The meeting was super long as the first order was a long drawn out apology and explanation for not leaving from the Isla de Sacrificios. I was okay with it and it seemed like most were and then there was the bike re-routing explanation and once we got to the run route explanation (don't think there was a change there) I pretty much understood the bike route. They said they'd let us know if the swim was clockwise or counterclockwise the morning of the event. They'd wait for the capitania del puerto to decide which would favor us best. It was a long meeting with lots of questions and that is where I found out they were Very Serious about no drafting and that Jamie would not be able to hand me Electrolit on the course BUT they would have Powerbars and GU for the bike and run. Except they really didn't. Luckily, I had accidentally planned for that.

I tried taking a nap in the midafternoon and I'm pretty sure I got some sleep in as I had been getting up at 5am to work and going to bed at 10pm or later by this day it was really catching up with me. I know your taper week is supposed to be a resting and hydrating week but mine was pretty much the opposite. That night as Jamie and I headed out for dinner (the kids stayed in the hotel) and found The Best pastor tacos we've ever had I got hit with incredibly awful stomach cramps and diarrhea and I was worried enough for the next day that we headed for a farmacia and got cramping meds.

I then had to figure out what I was going to wear for the triathlon. I really wanted a swimsuit for the swim, bib shorts and jersey for the bike and shirt and shorts for the run and got everything together. I had purchased some wide elastic and sewed it to make a belt for my first sprint triathlon in March and pinned this to the elastic of my shorts to change into in T2. I wasn't sure if there were bathrooms at transition for changing so I brought a large towel along just incase. I filled my bike jersey pockets with the salt tablets, a cliff bar and 2 GUs along with a CO2 cartridge and probably more. I refrigerated 2 750 mL bottles of 1-scoop Cytomax and got to bed.

I was up at 4:45 am without any alarm. I made coffee and completely changed my race wardrobe and dropped the swimsuit and bib shorts for tri shorts and a run top over a running bra. Jamie was up a little before 6am (transition was open from 6am to 6:45) and we squeaked into transition at 6:30. there was absolutely No Place to put my stuff - the ladies on both sides of me had taken all the space. So I put my bike shoes in front of my bike, hung my sunglasses and helmet on my bike and left 2 bags of my stuff directly under my bike and behind my bike and headed out of transition to the beach. We had to get out behind the sets of breakers to see the course and I finally decided I had pretty much the gist of the course and as all the women started together (and dead last) I'd just follow the waves of men ahead of us. The elites were off first and while I didn't see any women there were apparently 2 elite women in there. One finished just over 5 hours, the 2nd in 5:25ish (and I beat her bike time).

I'd had a cliff bar back at the hotel around 6am and since I'd actually tested this nutrition on my very last brick at home I knew it would work and was happy with the choice. I tried to swig some Electrolit, expecting a very hot day but had to leave it all in transition. The swim wasn't bad once we got past the breakers and I think I swam through 2 waves of men before exiting but my time wasn't all that hot (41 min) and I know I swam way wide for open water. I thought I had taken a short cut (direct line) at the base of the triangle (300 m) but maybe I was actually way off course. Hard to say. It was GREAT to have the swim over and one part finished and done with. Bike was next.

I ran into transition (not far from swim exit) and took off the run top which had chafed me badly under each arm and stepped into my bike jersey and headed out. While on the swim someone had dumped all my bags of stuff on the ground under my bike and taken the towel (we weren't supposed to have backpacks or any bags there but I had no room to put my stuff so I left everything in bags) and I figured I'd figure out the run stuff in T2 and headed out on the bike. It turned out I was 21/68 women and I thought sure I'd done better than that so definitely room for improvement there.

It apparently had rained HARD during the swim and the roads were very wet and full of large deep puddles. I found it impossible to keep my HR under 150 for the first 18km lap and durin gthe 2nd couldn't keep it under 140 so I just gave up and in the headwinds took it easier and tucked tight on the downhills. I ended up averaging just under 30km/hr at 3:01 for the bike. Exactly where I'd hoped I'd be. Jamie was on the course for at least the 1st lap and maybe then 2nd and then headed to the hotel to get the kids. I saw them the 4th and 5th laps and drank both water (1L) and poweraid along with the Cytomax I'd brought and 1 Cliff bar I'd brought and took 1 salt tablet at one point thinking I'd save the last 2 for the run. I never saw those again.

The bike really was very good. I didn't suffer at all and I did not let 1 single female pass me from any age group. I was very happy with my bike portion but I was really worried I had not left enough for the run. I knew I'd worked hard - not ridiculously hard - but hard and I was shocked at how high my HR had been because in training I had to work So Hard to get it that high and during the race I just could not bring the intensity down at all but it wasn't really hurting. I guess that means I trained well.

When I came into T2 I had an amazing sight - 3 racks of bikes, mine, the one to both left and right were EMPTY! I'd beaten at least 3 age groups of females into T2. I grabbed my run shorts, stripped off my jersey, put on my run shirt and ran to the bathroom to change and tentatively headed out for the run. I knew it was going to hurt and it was a huge question as to whether I'd actually be able to do it or not. I had not gone further than 12 km in training and this was going to be 22 km. I was scared.

My plan was to Gallowalk - 9 min run and 45s to 1 min walk. I spotted a guy in front of my coming out of T2 who was shuffling quite a lot like I was and I wondered if I should just shuffle with him or Gallowalk but after 3 Gallowalks I had left him quite solidly behind me. I expected to start feeling worse and worse but by 30 minutes (5km ish) I was feeling better than expected. Not great by any stretch but not like I was going to die and I started thinking I just might be able to finish. I kept looking for "U" on calves but never saw one the entire race. I was sure I had one of my age group ahead of me but wasn't sure. I kept to my 9m:45s and found that not only did the promised Powerbars never appear on the bike leg but that the promised GUs never appeared on the run leg. Luckliy I had brought 3 GU with me just in case and stashed them in my bra coming out of T2.

The rest stations along the run were heaven. They had pretzels, coke (not defizzed but I drank 2 anyway) rasins (I was afraid to take these that they'd give me gas), ice, Poweraid, water, oranges and bananas. They had a fire truck throwing a DRENCHING shower at one end of the course. They had a water tunnel at the other. On the 2nd lap the rest stop volunteers poured ice cold water in a shower over you if you so desired. There were private citizens along the course with ice cold baggies of water, gatorade, oranges, other drinks, coke and incredible spirit. They MADE the run course. Towards the end of the laps there was one guy who was VERY LOUD and YELLING at you, encouraging you, calling you out by number and what an inspiration. There was one family with empty water bottles filled with rocks shaking and yelling "VENGA VAMOS" and encouraging us. By the 2nd lap I really looked forward to all the little groups of people yelling for their own athlete and the rest of us as well. By the 2nd half of the 2nd run loop I knew I was going to finish. I decided to stop run/walk and just run but stop in the rest stations to pick up ice and poweraid. I had to stop taking in liquids a couple times on the bike due to sloshing but paced myself well enough on the run that I never got bloated or sloshing tummy thankfully but I really wish I'd had more solid food available. I did take pretzels 3-4 times on the course hoping for the salt to kick in.

Jesse ran the last 6km wiht me (in CROCS!!) and talked me as I shuffled along. Sometimes he walked while I "ran". I was very happy to be done as those last 6km my hips were KILLING me - I'm used to running on non concrete and this was all concrete and asphalt. Plus there was the lack of training and distance. So my first 1/2 marathon was at the end of a triathlon. :)

I finished in 6:22 and ended up winning my age group. We never were able to find the prize ceremony but honestly I was very happy to finish, to win my AG and to have my family around to celebrate with. I could not have asked for more. But honestly, an IM is TWICE this? ACK!!! NOW i'm REALLY worried!

Got to Veracruz and only stopped by each and every military checkpoint.

We got stopped by all but 2 military retenes but I was thankful for the 2 that they were actual military retenes and not fake retenes. Pike was rather bothered that we were constantly targeted by the military for revision and we had a good discussion about the drug trade and why it would make sense to pull us out of line for revision. I was a little apprehensive (to say the least) going through Cardenas, Tabasco but we had no problems going through. I won't say why but Google might give info. I was pretty sure I spotted spotters along the road into Cardenas though.

The road was quite familiar from our previous journeys through this area and looked forward to the pineapple plantations of Veracruz but by the time we got there we were too worried about finding a hotel in Veracruz to stop for the glorious cold juice. This is a usual stop for us and as pineapple is pressed fresh from the field and iced, it is quite a treat on a hot day. When we had left Frontera I had looked up the hotel we'd planned to stay at on Google Maps and found they located it nowhere near the beach (and thus the triathlon route) but way in the middle of the outside of the city. The hotel website, however, showed it much closer to the beach and specifically said it was on the street name of the malecon (Google locating it on the same street name in a radically different location) so we were not sure if we'd have to find a dog-friendly hotel once we got to town or not. Mexican sineage is challenging at a minimum and were it not for our "friends" in the black truck we might still be on the road. We were very happy to find that our hotel was, in fact, right on the malecon and the projected triathlon route. Well, except not really.

We quickly got rooms on the THIRD FLOOR and headed out to find something to eat. Jesse was hoping to revive an old (ridiculous) tradition of KFC on some traveling nights and off we headed for the worst the Coronel had to offer. It was truly The Worst Chicken in the world and even the coleslaw (what I had to eat) was only barely edible. Jamie and I then headed out for water and breakfast supplies and we were in bed by very late o'clock.